How Trick-or-Treating Became a Community Event.
Despite its pagan and Christian origins, the modern Halloween traditions are often a purely secular celebration. Kids dress up as ghouls and ghosts, knocking on door-to-door in hopes of receiving a chocolatey treat. But in fact, one of the most frivolous aspects of the holiday has a serious religious past.
Medieval Christians tradition held that on Hallowtide, the eve of All Saint's Day, the poor went to the homes of the wealthy and offered to pray for the recently departed in that household; it was believed that more prayers meant a soul was more likely to be saved (a belief at became unpopular after Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on Oct. 31st, 1517).
The rich then rewarded the poor with food and beer. It actually was not until the 1930s that North America had a new term for the old tradition: trick-or-treating.
Halloween is a fun holiday filled with imagination and community living. My wife and I always enjoy attending our church's "Trunk-or-Treat" and local Fall Festivals to see all the kiddos dressed up with proud grins shining under their paint-plastered faces.
As you walk around after sunset this coming Halloween, be safe, have fun, and enjoy life with others.