History of Halloween Costumes and Trick or Treating. Designerplanet
Trick or Treat might be a strange concept, but it was very common for children to do this during Samhain. Trick or treating evolved from a ritual where people dressed in spooky costumes, performed dances and received treats to appease the evil spirits.
Many people were said to dress up as saints and recite songs or verses from door to door. Children also went door to door asking for “soul cakes,” a cookie-like treat. Tech Note: Soul Cakes originated as part of the All Souls Day holiday on November 2 (yes, a third holiday!), but eventually became part of Halloween night as the concept evolved into trick-or-treating. The concept of picking up candy also became popular in the US in the early to mid 1900s, during which time families would give treats to children in hopes that they would be immune to any holiday pranks. As for the costumes, they also evolved. While they started out as heartfelt tributes to the saints, this tradition likely fell out of favor at some point… until young pranksters in Scots and Irish got the idea to dress up in scary clothes again as a way to scare unsuspecting neighbors. And so, thanks to these local hooligans, Halloween costumes have become spooky, scary, funny and creative at the same time.
What is the true meaning of Halloween?
Although it no longer has a religious significance in the UK, Halloween was once the symbol of the end of summer and an important day in the pagan calendar. It was also the Feast of the Dead. This may sound frightening, but death was not feared by heathens. They accepted it as just another part of life and used the occasion to respect and honor the dead. During the celebrations, the spirits of the recently deceased are invited to join the party. There are also costumes, dances and bonfires. Furthermore, Samhain was a way of welcoming the harvest in the ‘darkest time of the year’, and could be similar to the harvest festivals we are familiar with today.