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MY MOST MEMORABLE COSTUME HIDDEN COSTS OF ASSISTED LIVING THE NIGHTMARE OF DO-NOTHING WILLS DO YOU KNOW THE COST OF DEMENTIA? ‘HEADLESS’ APPLES ON HORSEBACK THE SURPRISING ORIGINS OF TRICK-OR-TREATING Correction: In our September issue, Lindsie Simonsen’s professional title was incorrect. Lindsie Simonsen is a legal assistant.
Why There Are Kids on Your PorchAsking for Candy
THE HISTORY OF TRICK-OR-TREATING
As Halloween looms and you load up your grocery cart with candy, you may ask yourself, “Why do I provide these spooky gremlins with a sugar high every Oct. 31, anyway?” Well, when your doorbell starts ringing around 6 p.m. this All Hallows’ Eve, you can thank the Celts for this tradition of candy and costumes. Halloween itself is a kind of mishmash of four different cultural festivals of old: two Roman fêtes, which commemorated the dead and the goddess of fruit and trees (not at the same time); the Celtic Samuin or Samhain, a new year’s party thrown at the end of our summer; and the Catholic All Saint’s Day, designed to replace Samuin and divorce it from its pagan origins. Long before there were young’uns on your porch dressed as Thanos with candy-filled pillowcases in hand, the Celts believed that Samuin marked an overlapping of the realms of the living and the dead. To trick the spirits leaking into our world, young men donned flowing white costumes and black masks — a great disguise when ghosts were about. The Catholic Church was never a big fan of these pagan traditions, so they renamed it “All Saints’ Day” and gussied it up in religious garb. By the 11th century, people were dressing up as saints, angels, and
the occasional demon instead of spirits. Eventually, costumed children
started tearing through town
begging for food and money and singing a song or prayer in return — a practice called “souling.”
But when did they start dressing up as Minions? Starting in the 19th century, souling turned to
“guising,” which gave way to trick-or-treating in mid-20th-century America, and the costumes diversified. So put on some clown makeup and a big smile, scoop up a handful of sweets, and scare the living daylights out of ‘em — ‘tis the season!
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