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Published on October 16th, 2012 | by Jane

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History of Trick or Treating

Imagine going door-to-door asking for food in exchange for praying for dead souls. For the majority of us to whom that doesn’t sound weird, believe it or not, that is the pre-cursor to us going door-to-door promising tricks if we don’t get treats. This was called souling, and it was very popular in the UK where children and poor folk would sing and pray in the hopes of getting cake (I kid you not).

Dressing up or “guising” was also prevalent before what we now call trick or treating. Kids would get dressed up in costume, carry around a turnip lantern (hmmm, that sounds familiar) and go home to home to get cake and money.

Though the custom dates all the way back to the Middle Ages, the term “trick or treat” is actually Canadian! Or at least the first time the term was printed was in Alberta. So… that’s something to brag about, I guess.

Trick or Treating is mostly a Western phenomenon, occurring here in Canada, the States, the UK and in fact, Mexico. In Mexico, little kids will ask for sugar skulls instead of saying ‘trick or treat,’ which sounds pretty darn tasty to me.

So. Are you guys going trick or treating? If not, what are your plans for this upcoming Halloween?

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