For most people, especially children, Halloween candy is the top priority of the holiday. However, receiving Halloween candies and treats has not always been a part of the festivities.
• All Hollow's Eve Celebrating the deceased was originally the main focal point of All Hollow's Eve. Over two-thousand years ago Halloween was an ancient Celtic festival that is associated with human death. They did not have Halloween candy corn, but they did dress in costumes made of animal skin. This tradition has been around since the beginning.
The Celts would dress in their costumes and burn crops and animals as a sacrifice to the deceased. The Celts would also celebrate a second day in honor of the Roman goddess of fruit, Pomona. This is where we have come up with the tradition of bobbing for apples, as well as the delicious treat Halloween candy apples. Even though we still associate death and spookiness with the holiday, the first thing you think about when you hear the word Halloween is trick or treating.
• All Souls Day Trick or treating for Halloween candy originated in England from All Souls Day. During the celebration poor families would beg for food from the more fortunate and they would give them pastries called soul cakes. They poor would refer to this as "going a-souling."
When American's first celebrated Halloween, they adopted this tradition and all the known Halloween candy facts from England. Instead of poor families begging for food, everyone would go "trick or treating" for Halloween candy.
• The Candy Bag Also originating in England, was the Halloween candy bag. The poor would carry around a sack and when it was full of soul cakes, they knew that they would not starve. Now, people carry pumpkin shaped pails, Halloween decorated bags or even pillowcases to collect the most treats they can. The "trick" from trick or treating came from ancient England as well.
If the rich did not offer soul cakes the poor families would take action against them. They would vandalize their property or attempt to harm or steal from the rich families. It became such a large problem, that law enforcement was forced to take action.
• The Tradition Continues People continue to carry on Halloween traditions that they learned as a young child, even the tricks. Some have parties complete with delicious Halloween recipes, bobbing for apples and haunted houses and others participate in trick or treating. So, whether a person is handing out Halloween candy to kids dressed in scary costumes or carving pumpkins, they are participating in a celebration that has been going on for centuries.
Note: Dark Halloween Costumes gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post