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Most people know the night of October 31st as Halloween. It’s when people like to dress up as ghosts, ghouls, zombies, monsters, and many more otherworldly creatures. They seem to love the thrill of dressing up that way and scaring the living daylights out of people if they can.
Kids are no exception to this Halloween tradition. And not only do they dress up, but they also ring doorbells at night and yell “trick or treat!” The treat usually is in the form of candy, chocolates, and other sweets. The “trick” part is usually a harmless prank done when the owner of the house doesn’t want to give the treats. Or, some owners also withhold the treats first and ask for a trick. Commonly, homeowners would just give children treats right there and then.
The origin story of this Halloween practice is a bit weird, though. The idea of dressing up as creatures of the underworld came from an old Celtic tradition. People would dress up as demons because they believed that during this time, real demons walked the Earth. If the real demons saw them, the demons would think they are one of them, thus leaving them alone.
Then there came the twist. Kids and some adults, who wore demon costumes went around their communities knocking on doors and asking for food or money. In exchange, they offered prayers for the dead.
“Trick or treat” was not invented until 1927, though. It was when kids visited homes and yelled “trick or treat” to demand homeowners to give them sweets. Otherwise, the kids would mess up the yards of the homes they visited by disassembling wagons, hiding barrels, and doing all sorts of pranks to the stuff they see outside. It’s described as “harmless fun”, though, as there was reportedly nothing that got stolen or seriously broken. Since then, the tradition of trick or treating had stuck.