The History of Trick-or-Treat: a Halloween Tradition

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the US, for both kids and adults. While adults can have fun at parties that last through the night, kids mostly enjoy Trick-or-Treat. Though it’s now accepted as a normal holiday tradition, the history of Trick-or-Treat actually dates to ancient times.

2,000 Years In The Making

According to the History Channel, Trick-or-Treat has its origins in Celtic festivals over 2,000 years ago. In particular, the festival of Samhain was celebrated on October 31st, when it was believed the dead returned back to life. In order to ward off the evil spirits and keep them happy, sacrifices and homage (a.k.a. treats) were paid to the deceased.

Guy Fawkes Night

The tradition is also associated with Guy Fawkes Night. On November 5, 1606, Fawkes was executed for attempted treason (the so-called “Gunpowder Plot”). Many later commemorated his death with bonfires and by begging for pennies. Brits in the 17th century would go around asking for a “penny for the Guy,” a tradition much like Trick-or-Treating.

Pranksters

Modern celebrations didn’t really start until the 1920s, when Halloween pranks were popular. Many young people would cause damage in neighborhoods with their pranks, so adults would try to bribe them with candy and other rewards. Now, Americans spend more than $6 billion on Halloween, making it the second-largest commercial holiday.

At College Chevrolet Buick, we can’t wait for the celebration to start.

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