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The Sweet History of Trick or Treating

With only 5 more days to go before scores of children don costumes and scare up treats from their neighbors, we were curious to learn more about the history of Halloween traditions. How did it become so popular for kids to dress up and go door-to-door asking for candy? After you’ve learned the history of this sweet tradition, don’t forget to visit Wockenfuss at one of our 8 locations to stock up on delicious Halloween candy!


Trick or treating is based on a spooky tradition.

It turns out there’s a long history behind Halloween that spans centuries. Most of our Halloween traditions stem from the ancient Celtic festival known as Samuin (also sometimes spelled “Samhain”). Samuin means “summer’s end” and the festival was an annual autumnal occasion that commemorated and celebrated the dead. November 1st marked the new year according to the Celtic calendar and the Celts believed that the transition between years allowed an opportunity for the worlds of the living and the dead to overlap which gave souls a chance to roam the earth. In order to prevent evil spirits from playing tricks on them, the Celts began a tradition of dressing as demons and ghouls to trick the undead into believing that they were also spirits so that they would be left alone.

As for how delicious Halloween treats came to play a role in the holiday, this stems from a Middle Age tradition known as “guising” (which comes from the word “disguising”) where children would dress in costume and go door-to-door during Samuin, offering songs and prayers for the dead in exchange for food or money. It is believed that this tradition was brought to the U.S. by Scottish and Irish immigrants at the turn of the 20th century and morphed into the trick-or-treating tradition we all know and love. Trick-or-treating began to crop up in the states between the 1920s and 30s and quickly spread, though it went on hiatus during WWII when sugar was heavily rationed. After sugar rationing was lifted, the popularity of Halloween exploded and by the 1950s trick-or-treating was a hallmark of Halloween as it remains to this day.

Shop for Halloween Candy at Wockenfuss!

Are you in the Halloween spirit yet? Head to and browse our wide selection of Halloween candies. We promise you will not be disappointed. Wockenfuss Candies is one of the oldest candy makers in Baltimore. We opened our doors in 1915 and have proudly served the people of Baltimore ever since.

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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 at 6:34 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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