Thursday, October 30, 2008

The History behind Trick-or-Treating

Last weekend I spent hours at various stores trying to find the perfect costume for my kids. Not an easy task , especially when the kids kept changing their minds about what they wanted to be. They both finally decided to be vampires, which got me to thinking about the not so commercial aspect of the trick-or-treating. How many of you know where the tradition started?

The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.

Something to think about as you're herding you little ghost or goblin along the sidewalks between houses.
Happy Halloween!


Judith Leger said...

Now that is really cool, Kim! I never knew that. Thanks for sharing and have a great Samhain!

Kim Watters said...

Well, now you know. I'm glad we're just in it for candy now:) My kids are vampires this year. I can't wait to see how they look. Thanks for stopping by.

Kris said...

I agree, that is really cool. I wonder when costumes and the phrase "trick or treat" came into play.