During this time around the world Halloween is celebrated. One
most common tradition followed in the United States and Canada is
trick-or-treat which has been there since 1900s. The traditions of children going
door to door in search for treats exist in many parts of the world, with one European
custom being widely recognized as the precursor of the North American
If we look back at the Middle Ages, people in the British
Isles used to dress up for these holidays and go from one door to the other and
perform different scenes. In return, they would receive a thank-you in the form
of food and drinks. This tradition still exists in Ireland and Scotland under
the name guising and features dressed-up children rather than theater displays.
Halloween is widely celebrated on the 31st of October. The origin of Halloween also goes back to Celtic traditions. More precisely, it is associated with the Samhain festival, which marked the beginning of winter. They believed that this was the time when spirits and fairies had to be pacified. Like other Christian holidays, such as All Saints' Day (November 1) and its eve, All Hallows' Day overlaps with the pagan festival and trick-or-treating is done in Portugal on the first day of November. All Saints' Day also has a big implication in Mexico (celebrated as Day of the Dead there). They have also adopted the U.S. traditions of Halloween, mainly in the central and northern parts of the country. The custom over there is named as calaverita (litte skull) after the sugar skulls which are gifted for the festival.
The trick-or-treating pranks and scary dressing are not bound
to a single date. Children living in Southern Denmark and Northern Germany pick
New Year's Eve, while Scandinavian children involve in these activities around
Easter. In the Netherlands, Austria Switzerland, Southern Germany, and Flanders
in Belgium children perform on November 11 which is the St. Martin's Day. In these
regions, treats are not given out of threats, but for songs and other
performances that children give.
Caroling for sweets is also performed during Ramadan in
Central Asia. This is where trick-or-treating blends into Christmas caroling,
which is sometimes also rewarded with food offerings, for example in Eastern
This practice is most closely linked with the United States
and England. This practice involves adults as well as children and normally the
money which is collected is dedicated for the purpose of charity.
Infographic by: statista