All Hallows Eve, better known as Halloween is a centuries old tradition both here in the UK and the US. It’s also known as Allhalloween and All Saints Eve. The Halloween we see today is based on the American version which in turn came from the Celtic fringes of Britain. It is believed to have originated from the Celtic pagan festival of Samhain, translated means ‘Summer’s End.’
Fending Off The Evil Spirits
People believed that it was a time when the walls between this world and the next became thin, allowing spirits to pass through and damage their crops. Places were set at tables to welcome the spirits and appease them. Lighting bonfires and offering food and drink were thought to ward off evil spirits.
Trick And Treat
Trick and treating were thought to have originated in the 16th century in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. People went door to door dressed in costumes asking for food in exchange for a poem or song. Many believed that dressing up as souls of the dead would be protecting themselves from the spirits by impersonating them.
Celts dressed in white and blackened their faces supposedly to trick the evil spirits that they believed to be roaming the earth before All Saints Day which is on November 1st. The tradition of trick or treating can be seen as far back as the 11th century when children would go door to door asking for soul cakes in exchange for the souls of friends and relatives. They would dress as angels, demons or saints. The cakes represented a soul being freed from purgatory.
Many of us have fallen victim to a scary Halloween prank, or even played the nasty trickster ourselves. From jumping out of bushes dressed as zombies or spooking people in their sleep as ghosts – the terrifying list of possibilities is endless.
Full Story of Why We Trick and Treat