The modern tradition of passing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween is likely based on the medieval custom of "souling" on All Souls' Day. Early Christians made currant-topped desserts called "soul cakes" to honor their dead on All Souls' Day, and children would walk from house to house singing for the cakes. The children agreed to pray for the dead relatives of each person that gave them a soul cake.Know More
Combining rituals of Roman Catholicism, Celtic harvest festivals and paganism, the modern Halloween is a celebration of both secular and religious traditions. Trick-or-treating became popular in the United States in the 1940s.
The custom of dressing up in costume can be attributed to the more recent Scottish and Irish practice of "guising." In the late-19th century celebrations of Halloween in Europe, Scottish and Irish children would go door-to-door wearing disguises and perform a song or tell a joke for food or money. Scottish and Irish immigrants then brought this tradition to North America.
The phrase "trick-or-treat" as used to playfully threaten vandalism on Halloween is thought to have been first used in Canada in 1927. In certain parts of Mexico, children participate in a similar tradition. Children travel from door to door saying calaverita, which means "little skull" and has the same effect as saying "trick or treat."Learn More
The word "Halloween" is a corruption of "All Hallows' Eve," the day before All Saints' Day, and it was initially a Catholic high feast day as well as a minor Celtic feast day. Medieval Catholics believed this was the night spirits were free to roam the earth.Full Answer >
Brazil officially observes Day of the Dead on the first two days of November, rather than Halloween. Brazil Travel Northeast reports, however, that costume parties and the trick-or-treat custom are slowly gaining popularity in larger cities. Brazil has no official reason to ignore the holiday, but instead is bound by an ancient Aztec tradition.Full Answer >
The Day of the Dead, a holiday celebrated primarily in Mexico, is similar to Halloween in that both holidays occur back to back, both are rooted in festivals held by ancient peoples, both focus on death and both are celebrated with traditional foods.Full Answer >
Candy is traditionally given out on Halloween to children who dress up in costumes and go door-to-door asking for candy in a custom known as trick-or-treating. It is increasingly common for children to trick-or-treat in retail stores, or to receive candy at church or community carnivals.Full Answer >