11 Interesting Facts about Trick-or-Treating

Have you check out our Interesting Facts series that I began last week? I have been having so much fun writing them, so I hope you are enjoying them!! Today we are looking at Trick-or-Treating!

1) The Celts believed that the dead and living would overlap as we moved from one year until another (holiday is called Samhain) and demons would roam the earth. Dressing as a demon was a defense. If you were dressed as demon and ran into a demon it would think you were one of them.

2) The Catholic Church designated November 2 as All Souls’ Day, a time for honoring the dead.

Soul cakes for Samhain! (5159453650)
Soul Cakes -- the treat in the Middle Ages By Samantha from Haarlem, Netherlands (Soul cakes for Samhain!Uploaded by LongLiveRock) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
3)  During the Middle Ages children and sometimes poor adults would dress in costumes and go around door to door during Hallowmas and beg for food and money in exchange for songs and prayers often said on behalf of the dead. This was called souling.

4)  In Scotland and Ireland young people would go guising by dressing up in costume and go door to door performing some trick—singing a song, telling a joke, etc. in exchange for a treat which often was fruit, nuts or coins.

5) This practice did not migrate with Europeans to America. It wasn’t until the 1920s and 1930s that trick-or-treating re-emerged. However, pranks became the activity of choice for rowdy young people and sometimes doing more than $100,000 in damage. With the Great Depression it was worsened. In the 1930s there was a widespread push for an organized, community-based trick-or-treating activity.

6) Because of sugar rations, there was a pause in trick-or-treating during World War II.
Do you know why sugar must be rationed 8e10785v
Do You Know Why Sugar Must Be Rationed?
By Ann Rosener [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

7) The term “trick-or-treat” was first referenced in print in 1927 in an edition of Blackie, Alberta Canada Herald.

8)  A 2006 survey found that over half the British homeowners turn off their lights and pretend not to be home on Halloween.

9)  The term trick-or-treat was in a Peanuts comic strip in 1951, and in 1952, a Disney cartoon called Trick or Treat featuring Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

10) Store bought Halloween costumes were first sold in the 1930s. With some of the scary movies like Count Dracula (1931) and Wolf Man (1941) the scary costumes became popular.

Dracula Bela Lugosi Witchs Dungeon
Count Dracula at the Witch's Dungeon Classic Movie Museum By Trilobitepictures (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
11) Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in America. It is estimated Americans spend $6 billion on Halloween. It is the third best known party holiday on the western calendar behind New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl parties.

So are you heading out trick-or-treating with your child(ren) or handing out the candy? Or are you one of the ones who turn off the light and pretend not to be home? Whichever way: