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Trick - Or - Treat

Updated on October 16, 2015

What is Trick or Treat

2015 Christmas is around the corner and with the festival season with us, we will need to enjoy the festival season in style. Nothing makes the season great like trick or treating games especially among the young ones.

Trick or treating season is here. This is a tradition which its originality dates back to 10th century in medieval Europe. In medieval Europe, the poor would go from house to house soliciting for food in return for prayers to the dead on All Souls Day and was known as souling. Nowadays it’s not the poor who move from house to house but children dressed in disguise in what we now call trick or treat and this varies from country to country.

With the 2015 Christmas only 2 months away, trick or treat is one of the best activity children engage with to add more fun and flavor to any Christmas celebrations.

Trick or treating is a myriad of many rituals borrowed from the Christian and pagan traditions of medieval Europe. It has evolved with time but the basic idea remain the same; dressing in disguise, moving from house to house threatening a trick or a treat.

The trick could be a joke or a mischief and the treat is sweets or other snacks, food or even money. Children disguise themselves because the border between the underworld and this world became thin on the Samhain festivals, allowing spirits either harmful or harmless to pass through.

Based on a Celtics ritual where they invited their families ancestors and the harmful spirits were chased away by deceiving them by wearing masks and costumes to appear as a harmful spirit and thus avoid any harm from the harmful spirits.

Origin of Trick or treating has over the years been influenced by the days names on the Christian calendar, but actually the rituals were pagan traditions marking the beginning of winter; winter solstice on November 1st .

In the Christian calendar November 1st is known as All Hallows Day; All Saints Day. October 31st is known as All Hallows Eve which has been shortened to Halloween and the 2nd November is known as All Souls Day.

The origin of the name Halloween is derived the word All Hallows or Hallowmass. Hallow is making Holy, the day before All Hallows was shortened to Halloween. All Hallows is a day we know as All Saints Day, A day set aside celebrated and honour all unknown saints.

The day before Halloween is the All Souls Days in honour of all those who have died and gone to heaven but have not attained sainthood. In some countries it is known as the Day of the Dead

But trick or treat is not a Halloween activity only. It is part of Christmas activities as well and has been so for hundred of years.

Creative Tricking and Treating This Halloween

Trick or Treating the English way

To create fun you can organize trick and treat the English way. In England the children ring the bell or knock the door and say “a penny for the guy”. “Penny for the guy” dates back to 1605 when Guy Fawkes; an explosive expert plotted against England the Gunpowder Plot and was arrested and sentenced the worst punishment imaginable; hanged, drawn and quartered. Guy escaped that worst punishment by hanging himself by jumping with a rope around his neck. Every November 5th in England, Guy Fawkes is symbolically re-executed by burning his effigies in what is commonly known as Bonfire Night. Children move from house to house saying “a penny for the guy” and the money collected is used in buying fireworks for the Bonfire Night.

For Halloween, trick or treat is especially done on the eve. Halloween trick or treat is great activity for children; it keeps the children busy and engaged while giving them an opportunity to be creative. Halloween is about fun and trick or treat provide just that.

To organize children for trick or treat, plan the route they will take, it always good to encourage the kids to go to houses they know the owners. An adult should accompany them. It is good to avoid children moving till late at night.


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