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Trick-or-Treating

Posted by admin On June - 1 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Trick-or-Treating

 

A Halloween tradition for children in many countries around the globe, trick-or-treating has seen some changes over the years but continues on in some form or fashion. The event takes place on Halloween night and, generally involves costumed children walking through the neighborhood knocking on their neighbors’ doors. Upon answering the door, the homeowner is posed with a decision, not just a question.

 

“Trick or treat?” the child asks. The adult then usually doles out candy, cookies, other sweets, apples or even money to the youngster. This offering is, in one way, a contractual agreement that the kid will not play a trick on the home owner. Though tricks are not commonly actually carried out, the tricks were usually played on those who refused to answer the door.

 

Getting Ready for Trick-or-Treating

 

This has become quite an event, with stores putting up Halloween displays around Thanksgiving and sometimes earlier. There are a wide variety of Halloween costumes to choose from, and they change each year depending what’s trendy that season. The traditional looks include anything spooky or frightening. Some popular costumes that have lasted through the years are ghosts, vampires and other types of monsters. Some of the less macabre costume choices include princesses and superheroes. Each year whatever trends have recently popped up often make their way into the Halloween costume department—from comic book action heroes or villains, to video game figures or even popular singing or acting celebrities.

 

Some costumes are elaborate and some are more of a made at home, thrown together at the last minute look. Other options involve using make up to create a painted face or fake, bleeding injuries. Whatever the final outcome, the costume is the foundation for the candy hunt.

 

Taking It to the Streets

 

Since at least the 1950’s, in the United States, the tradition of trick-or-treating has been a part of Halloween festivities. Individual homes and entire neighborhoods would prepare for the holiday by decorating. A decorated home was usually a sign that trick-or-treaters were welcomed. Some home owners, though, choose to either be away for the night, or hide away inside with the lights off. This only makes them prime targets for getting a trick later as punishment. Tricks are less common now, but once consisted of activities like soaping windows, or redecorating a home with eggs or toilet paper.

 

A single child and parent or larger groups of disguised children go to each door and ask for treats to prevent the person from getting a trick. At the end of the night parents and children return home to take stock of the goodies collected in their pillow case, bag or plastic pumpkin.

 

Safety for Trick-or-Treating

 

Anytime there are children running around in costumes at night asking strangers for candy, there is reason for concern. Safety precautions must be made. Some of these start before leaving the house to begin trick-or-treating. Choosing a costume that doesn’t obstruct a child’s eyesight or could cause him or her to trip is the first priority. Some parents also opt to include some type of reflective material or device to make the youngster easier to spot. Parent and child should each have a flashlight, as well.

 

Once wild on the street, it is advisable to keep the child close by and not allow them to run. Watching for traffic is another concern, and drivers on Halloween night should also be alert to potential hazards. When going into homes, the parent should accompany the youngster. And any poorly lit areas should be illuminated by flashlight.

 

At the end of the night, as eager at the child may be to tear into their stash, parents must first inspect all the gathered goodies. Candy wrappers must not appear tampered with, baked goods should be checked for odd odors and apples should but sliced before serving. While not common, there have been cases of poisoned candy or apples with razor blades inside. It isn’t about being paranoid, it’s about being safe.

 

How It Has Changed

 

In more recent years, the methods used for trick-or-treating have changed in some areas. In order to avoid being on the streets, some parents have chosen different ways of celebrating Halloween. This is especially true in more rural areas where going house to house isn’t feasible. Some parents host Halloween parties on that night. Some places, like malls, often participate in giving out candies so children can still go door to door, but in a safer, well lit area.

 

However one chooses to do their trick-or-treating, the idea is to be safe and have fun. Giving kids the chance once a year to dress up in costumes and collect candy is a fun part of growing up.

 

 

Trick-or-treating

Posted by admin On May - 17 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Trick-or-treating

Many countries recognize this as a traditional activity on Halloween. Some cultures offer candy, while a few offer money. A lot of children also utter the phrase “trick or treat” as they knock on doors. The trick isn’t performed very often so it’s sort of a ritual. In North America,
trick-or-treating has been around since the 1950s. If a homeowner decorates their front door with Halloween accessories, and leaves the porch light on, then that’s usually an indication that they have candy to give out.

Trick-or-treating started in Ireland and Britain with something called souling. The poor and children would say prayers for the deceased and sing, and in return people would give out cakes. Costume wearing started with guising (disguising?), and the young ones went door to door in Scotland around 1895. In disguises, they would visit homes and carry lanterns carved from turnips and receive money, fruit and cakes. Actually saying trick or treat is a mainly North American tradition.

Ireland, Canada, the UK and the US, and Puerto Rico celebrate Halloween this way. Central and Northwestern Mexico also have it. People there call it Little Skull and kids ask: Can you give me my little skull? They will receive a small skull-shaped candy in sugar or chocolate. Prior to 1940, the term trick or treat was used mostly in Canada and the US. The term was introduced to the UK in the 1980s, but often it’s not welcome. In Ireland and Scotland dressing up and being given sweets is considered normal on Halloween.

Dressing up and going door to door in Scotland started around 1895 and costumed children and adults would take lanterns made from turnips to each house and after knocking on the door, receive fruit, cakes, and money. Boys used to visit some of the wealthier homes in the 1920s, where the benefits were no doubt more generous. Dressing up and going door to door on Halloween is still popular with the Irish and the Scots. In the US, churches may sponsor Trunk or Treat which is done in a parking lot. Parents feel this is safer as kids visit different car trunks and receive candy and decorations.

Treats received when trick or treating have changed throughout the years because of changing society. It used to be in the fifties, that children enjoyed homemade candy apples or homemade brownies or cookies Everything now is made safer by pre-wrapped and manufactured candy being doled out to the trick-or-treaters. If a homeowner wants to show a bit of individualism on Halloween, they can purchase treat bags and insert four of five pieces of candy into them, then seal with a little Halloween sticker.

Individual bags can be made by purchasing brown bags from a craft store and then decorating them. This would work if they’re aren’t a hundred children stopping by. It’s a wonderful idea for a home thrown party and these hand decorated bags and homemade candy will be enjoyed as party favors by children, for as long as it takes them to eat the treats. Most estimates put that around an hour after the kids get home.

If children go out into a neighborhood trick or treating, the youngest ones should be trailed closely by a parent. If older children or teens go in a group then all candy should still be checked at home. This can be why a party and candy treats are perhaps best enjoyed at home, where everyone knows each other. Children enjoy designing and making treat bags. They also enjoy choosing the candy to go in them. A little age-appropriate toy is also nice, plus perhaps a gold chocolate coin to celebrate those more ancient traditions of giving money.