Trick or Treat is a tradition or yearly ritual for American children and other children in many countries. Children dressed in scary costumes go from house to house and ask for treats with the phrase “Trick or Treat”. The “treat” is usually candy or money. The “trick” is usually a threat, to perform mischief on the homeowner or their property if the treat is not given. Trick or Treat takes place on the evening of 31st October. Some people leave candies on their porches for the children. A light is kept on indicating that candies are available. As with other rituals of Halloween, it has a European origin.
The tradition of Trick-or-Treat traces its history back to British and Irish traditions.
In some parts of Britain and Ireland, there was a tradition of mumming. In this tradition, children went from door-to-door in different costumes performing a short part of plays and asking for food or drink. The concept of Trick-or-Treat may come from a belief that evil spirits or the dead returned to the earth at this time and needed to be appeased.
Trick or Treat evolved from a ritual that people impersonated the souls and spirits of the dead and received food and drinks on their behalf. The impersonation was also seen as protection from evil spirits.
Like other Halloween rituals, this was brought by Irish immigrants to the United States. American colonists celebrated Guy Fawkes Day in mid of the 19th century. Guising in the US was introduced by Irish and Scottish in the early 20th century. The pranks became a common activity of Halloween for rowdy young people by the 1920s.
The excessive spread of Trick or Treat in the US was due to pranks. Later, candy companies promoted it a lot aimed at Halloween. According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated $2.6 billion is spent on candies on the holiday. It has become the nation’s 2nd largest commercial holiday.
A simple Halloween-themed riddle or joke is expected from children before receiving the treat. In many parts of the world, Trick or Treat is strictly a children’s activity. Dressing up in different costumes, however, is common among all age groups.
The term “Halloween Apples” is used by children in Canada instead of Trick or Treat. The children are also seen carrying pumpkin carved lanterns while going home to home. In some parts of Europe, a big bonfire is lit after the Trick or Treat activity. Teenagers gather and play around it. People buy different types of costumes for their children.
Children wear different costumes for disguising when seeking treats. The Halloween masks are called false faces in Ireland. Children are dressed as witches and monsters in Sweden before going for Trick or Treat.
The popularity of Trick or Treat is increasing in the world. The more creative ideas about the costumes are coming in the market. There is a great variety of costumes for Halloween.
Many people dress up according to the themes in their areas. Trick or Treat is also a way of giving charity.