Since your parents started dressing you in that (totally awesome) pumpkin costume, you’ve associated Halloween with trick-or-treating. But just how did it all start? Here’s some history about how trick-or-treat came to be, from us here at DeVoe Buick GMC.
The term “trick-or-treat” was only coined in 1951, when it was made popular by the Peanuts comic strip. However, that’s not the origin of the actual practice of trick-or-treating. Back in the Middle Ages, people would dress up as ghosts or demons and would perform “tricks” for food and drinks.
In later centuries, young people in Scotland and Ireland would dress up (called “guising”) and go door to door, telling jokes or singing songs in exchange for a treat of some sort.
Guy Fawkes Day was a celebratory holiday in England. In the 19th century, children began dressing up as Fawkes (a famous conspirator) and asking people for “a penny for the Guy”.
In the United States, trick-or-treating spawned from the American colonists who celebrated Guy Fawkes Day as well as the Irish and Scottish who practiced their tradition of “guising”. Pranking on Halloween became a common practice during the 1920’s, which ending up leading to the “trick-or-treat” practice.
After a short halt on trick-or-treating during WWII, it became popular again during the postwar baby boom. And we’ve been trick-or-treating ever since!