Halloween origins from the Celtic holiday Samhain which over centuries turned from a pagan ritual to a week of costumed parties, trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns.
Whereas adults tend to celebrate Halloween with costumes and parties, children often walk from door to door in their neighbourhood, dressed as witches, ghosts or vampires, to ask homeowners for treats, as they will get punished or tricked if they don’t hand over sweets. The trick-and-treat practice is probably rooted in medieval practices of mumming which is related to souling. Some cultures associate the presentation of mumming plays with feast days such as All Hallows’ Eve, Christmas or Twelfth Night. Other cultures combine mumming with fancy dresses and street parades, or groups of soulers going from parish to parish begging rich people for soul cakes in exchange of prayers for the souls and friends of the donators. In other cultures, children went from door to door for food and coins which was recorded as traditional Halloween tradition starting around 1895 in Scotland. They were dressed up and carried lanterns made from carved turnips, expecting cakes, fruits and money in return.
Halloween seems to have many different traditions and practices, originating from different cultures. Nonetheless, it definitely is a special time of the year and I hope you had a great Halloween night!
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