01 May Why We Pass Out Candy For Halloween?
Every year you stock up on Snickers Bars, Smarties and candy corn. You open your door to every ghost, goblin and princess who knocks and you oooh and aaahh over their costumes as you pass out your Halloween candy. You do it because it’s tradition, and it’s fun, but traditions have to start somewhere and this one had a creepy beginning.
Passing out candy to Trick-or-Treaters began way back in the Middle Ages. Each year, on November 2, Christians celebrated All Souls Day, a day to pray for the souls of loved ones who’d passed away.
On the day before All Souls Day., poor people would wander their neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and volunteering to pray for the souls of the residents’ dearly departed loved ones in exchange for food. Homeowners passed out tasty treats – versus bowls of gruel or stale popcorn balls – to ensure they prayers were really said.
As extra insurance against wandering souls who might feel slighted in the prayer department and decide to haunt them for the rest of eternity, homeowners would also leave food on their doorstep that night, in the belief that a well-fed ghost is a happy ghost who’d leave them alone for another year.
During the Middle Ages a tasty treat might have been a loaf of bread and some jam, or an apple or pear or a bunch of grapes. But the urchins who come knocking at your door on Halloween these days would hardly be appeased with these simple treats. In fact, they’d likely toilet paper your house and soap your windows.
A “tasty treat” for today’s Trick-or-Treaters is candy, particularly Snickers Bars, Reese’s Cups and Kit-Kat Bars, and, like our ancestors in the Middle Ages, we’re happy to pass out these treats if it means we won’t be “haunted” by these little devils for another year!