Halloween is a holiday that falls on the October 31st of every year. I came partly from the Celtic festival Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints. It is one of the more popular holidays among children due to the fact that they get to go out dressed as their favorite monster or superhero and get free candy, otherwise known as trick or treating.
The act of giving out candy on Halloween has its roots as far back as the middle ages. Back then poor people would go around on Hallow-mas (Nov. 1) and beg for food in exchange for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (Nov. 2). Other sources say that food was left out on the front step as offerings to the dead who wander the streets trying to return to their homes. They were afraid the spirits would get angry and haunt them if they didn’t do so. Nowadays, candy is given out to ward off tricks and vandalism done by children if they don’t get treats. This vandalism can be a simple toilet papering of the persons house, throwing eggs, to more violent actions like, breaking windows or starting fires. Some teenagers go out and do these things for fun whether the recipient has candy to hand out or not. The earliest mention of trick-or-treating in North America was in a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario. They said that it was getting more popular for children to go out and expect candy from homeowners and shops between six and seven o’clock Although it started out as people giving out food, and candied apples, it became more popular to hand out candies as they started becoming more readily available.
There were rumors however in the nineteen seventies and nineteen eighties, that children were susceptible to ingesting razor blades and poisons in their Halloween candy due to tampering. Although it started as a few rumors it became a widespread panic as the media began to emphasize it and blow it out of proportion. By nineteen eighty five over sixty percent of parents were scared their child was going to die from poisoned candy.
Many hospitals allow parents to bring their child’s candy in to get x-rayed and most of these are free of charge. There are also some malls that have “safe” trick or treating so that a parent can be sure to get poison or razor blade free candy.Although, I believe that if people would take the time to go out with their kids on Halloween and check all the candy themselves before letting their kids eat it. We wouldn’t have to worry about this sort of thing. I never got a scrap of candy when I was a kid until my parents checked it all.
Anyway, the moral of the story is, make sure you have candy to hand out this year if you don’t want to get “tricked”.