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The History of Trick or Treating: A Tale of Halloween Candy and “Horror”

Trick or TreatingAs a young child, there were certain things you would get really excited about: snow days, new video games, and, of course, candy. Okay, mostly candy! It’s delicious, it’s DELICIOUS, and your parents would only let you have so much, which made it taste even better when you snuck extra pieces without them knowing. Did we mention it’s delicious?

For 364 days a year, candy was an occasional treat that your parents would moderate, making sure you didn’t eat yourself into candy oblivion. However, there was one day a year when immense amounts of candy was not only tolerated, but encouraged: Halloween. You would dress up as a ghost, goblin, your favorite cartoon character, or whatever else you could come up with, and random strangers would give you Halloween Candy. All you had to do was utter one simple phrase: “Trick or Treat?” Before you knew it, you would be walking home dragging a bag full of candy. What a wonderful tradition! But where did it begin?

The History of Trick or Treating: A Tale of Halloween Candy and “Horror”

Trick or treating has been around for quite some time in the United States and other countries. Some estimate 100 years or more. However, the actual origin of this Halloween tradition is not quite so cut and dry. In fact, there are multiple theories…

A Celtic Halloween

As we mentioned in a previous blog, the history of Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, a celebration of the end of the harvest season. The Celts believed that the dead returned to the Earth every October 31st, so the people would light bonfires, disguise themselves in costumes, and offer sacrifices of food and drink to pay homage to the deceased and ward off evil spirits.

Hmmmmm…that idea of costumes seems familiar, doesn’t it?

In later years, people began dressing as ghosts and demons and performing antics in exchange for food and drink. Known as mumming, this is thought to be the origins of trick or treating. However, it is not known when the phrase “trick or treating” was actually coined.

An Early Christian Halloween

By the ninth century, Christianity had spread across the globe and into traditionally Celtic lands, blending Christian beliefs with older pagan rites. Over time, All Soul’s Day, which would come to be celebrated on November 2nd, closely resembled the Celtic Samhain. As part of the celebration, poor people would visit the houses of wealthier individuals and receive pastries known as soul cakes in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowner’s deceased relatives. This tradition was later taken up by children, and eventually involved costumes. Sound familiar? The children would sing a song, recite a poem, tell a joke, or perform a trick in exchange for some sort of treat.

Order Halloween Candy from Wockenfuss Online!

Wockenfuss is a family owned business, now in its fifth generation of candy-making. As one of the oldest candy makers in Maryland, we know a thing or two about what it takes to make great candy. And we are excited to offer a wide range of Halloween candy. Click Here to browse our collection! We promise you won’t be disappointed.

All of our delicious chocolate and candy treats available at our eight convenient locations, and online. Just allow 3-6 business days for shipping. But that is a small price to pay for the convenience of candy delivery. You can stock up for Halloween without ever leaving your house. What could be easier?

If you have any questions about ordering Halloween Candy online, please contact Wockenfuss Candies, by calling 1-800-296-4414 or email When you’re not savoring our sweets, stay satisfied by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest!

This entry was posted on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 7:48 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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