October 2021

Happy Halloween! Trick or Treat!

 

Trick or treat! As Halloween approaches, store aisles are packed with treats and candies to give out to trick or treaters. But why do we trick or treat every year decked out in our favorite costumes?

Halloween began as a pagan holiday, so it's no surprise that a lot of its traditions have roots in paganism, specifically in the Celtic holiday Samhain. Over 2,000 years ago, Celtics believed that the dead returned to Earth on October 31, so they would light bonfires and dress in costume to scare away these phantoms.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe and integrated into Celtic customs, the Church celebrated All Souls’ Day on November 2 to honor the dead. Poor people would visit the rich and promise to pay for their loved ones' souls in exchange for food and cakes, in a precursor to modern trick or treating.

Fast forward to modern times, trick or treating emerged in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. The first mention of trick or treating came in the Bay City Times, a Michigan newspaper, in 1928. Trick or treating slowed down during World War II due to sugar rationing, but in the 1950s it was back in full force. Candy companies and costume companies capitalized on the trendand started creating more candy options and costume options for kids to wear. Now, Americans spend $6 billion on Halloween!

How do you celebrate Halloween in your classroom? Tell us at #inspiresocialstudies

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