Candy, Candy, Candy!

Oh Garfield, you nut.

My favorite Halloween Holiday special when I was a kid was the Garfield Halloween special.  I know most people go gaga over Charlie Brown but there is something about the Garfield show that always got me in the Halloween spirit.  Garfield wanted what I wanted: candy and lots of it.  Of course, the fact that Garfield decided to go as a pirate probably didn’t hurt my liking of the show either.  Garfield, roaming around the streets looking for houses to plunder with his first mate Oddie always got my juices flowing to go trick-or-treating as a kid.

Halloween is an odd time.  We dress our kids up in costumes, push them out the door and send them around the neighborhood begging the neighbors or maybe even people in other neighborhoods to give them candy.  That is an odd tradition.  We dress up the children and then pimp them out around town so that we can get candy. So, where did the tradition of trick-or-treating come from?

Samhain
One theory, comes from the ideas involved in the Festival of Samhain.  Samhain, of course was the Celtic festival that  celebrated  time during each year when the faeries and spirits were left to run amok around the towns and villages of the British Isles.  During this time the people of the villages would go door to door looking for supplies for the Samhain feast.  This feast was crucial to the festival.  It helped to keep the faeries and sprites in check fi the people of the villages and towns celebrated this time of year.

Souling
Another tradition, that dates back to the medieval time period was Souling.  Souling was the practice of the poor going door to door looking for food from the more affluent people of the town while they prayed for the souls of departed loved ones who might still be in purgatory.  Good idea for those people that were too poor to have food and they helped people to feel better about the souls of their dearly departed

Whichever of these practices led to trick=or=treating we certainly have the people of Medieval and Renaissance Europe for instilling in our forefathers the need to go door-to-door and look for food.  Nowadays we make it even easier and we send out the kids.  Now the tricking part of trick-or-treating, that is a whole other story.  I guess it is possible that it started when people started handing out fruit, toothbrushes and of course Circus Peanuts from their houses to the kids in the area.  Getting a bag full of toothbrushes would make me soap a window or two right now.