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Halloween 2018: how trick-or-treating is really a Celtic tradition

11th century 'souling' has evolved into modern-day trick or-treating Credit: Kinzie+Riehm

Supermarket shelves are buckling under pumpkins and Google histories have become clogged with fancy dress inspiration searches. There can only be one reason: Halloween, the spooky celebration observed every year in a number of countries on October 31.

The festival, which takes places today, is most commonly known as Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of All Hallows' Evening), but is also referred to as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve. It is the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day, – also known as All Saints' Day.

In recent years there have been complaints about the 'Americanised' event dominating British streets as October comes to an end, with some questioning...

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Summary | 9 Annotations
The Americanised (Americanized?) Halloween that we experience today actually originated in the Celtic fringes of Britain, and was adapted over the decades by Christian traditions, immigrants' conventions and an insatiable desire for sweets.
2017/10/30 05:43
The origins of trick or treating and dressing up were in the 16th century in Ireland, Scotland and Wales where people went door-to-door in costume asking for food in exchange for a poem or song.
2017/10/30 05:44
By the 11th century, this had been adapted by the Church into a tradition called 'souling', which is seen as being the origin of trick-or-treating.
2017/10/30 05:46
The phrase trick-or-treat was first used in America in 1927, with the traditions brought over to America by immigrants.
2017/10/30 05:46
Later, costumes became influenced by pop culture, and became more sexualised in the 1970s.
2017/10/30 05:47
The influx of Irish immigrants in the 1840s to North America could not find any turnips to carve, as was tradition, so they used the more readily available pumpkin into which they carved scary faces.
2017/10/30 05:48
In Austria some people leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before going to bed. It is believed that this will welcome dead souls back to Earth.
2017/10/30 05:49
Children go door-to-door, asking for soul cakes in exchange for praying for the souls of friends and relatives. They went dressed up as angels, demons or saints.
2017/10/30 05:52
Costumes became more adventurous - in Victorian ages, they were influenced by gothic themes in literature, and dressed as bats and ghosts or what seemed exotic, such as an Egyptian pharoah
2017/10/30 05:53