By in Holidays

How Does Your Household Handle Halloween?

In the United States and some other countries, it is traditional the day before All Saints Day ( November 1) to Celebrate All Souls Eve on October 31, better known as Halloween or All Hallows Eve. This has roots in Catholicism. It is also called “The Night of the Dead” because beginning that night and lasting for 48 hours, those in Brittany believed those souls who had been in Purgatory were released and could visit their old homes. It was a solemn time.

Going from door to door begging is said to have come from an Old English tradition. The poor would knock on doors and beg for “soul cakes,” which were a kind of shortbread. These were given to those beggars who promised to pray for the dead of that household. Some wives baked “reminders” of their purpose right into the soul cakes themselves. It is said our doughnut was one such soul cake design, made round to remind the beggars of eternity. I learned of these traditions at The Catholic Education Resource site .

Whatever the religious or secular origins of the tradition of trick or treating, there is a bit of controvery about it now. This comes from many different quarters. Some Christians don't want to touch the holiday at all becaue it seems to be associated with paganism or witchcraft. Some parents are afraid human monsters will put razor blades or poison in the treats. Some other are concerned about the amount of sugar children eat after they come home.

This has affected the tradition in many ways. Some parents don't allow their children to go trick or treating. Some churches have harvest celebrations instead of Halloween parties. Many parents prefer either that or a Halloween party to having their children out on the streets as possible prey to the previoiusly mentioned human monsters or as possible victims of auto accidents.

Some households, because of their convictions, no longer give sweet treats, and hand out pencils or other kinds of non-sugar treats instead. Some Christians give religious tracts along with sweet treats.

Some households just leave the porch light off and don't even answer the door. Many of these are homes of the elderly or disabled with no caregivers or others to help them screen who is at the door. They know trick or treaters are not always cute little tykes in costumes, but sometimes are teens with no costumes that may just want candy or may be up to no good.

Other households love greeting the little beggars so much they have elaborate decorations in their yards and at their doors to create an atmosphere. They may also have spooky sounds or music playing. These household are likely to have good treats. Some hosts even take photos of the children in costume and take their addresses so they can give them the pictures later.

How does your household handle Halloween? Or is Halloween even celebrated in your country? If not, do you have a similar tradition or holiday?

Pictures and content are original and may not be used without permission, B. Radisavljevic, Copyright 2014, All Rights Reserved

Originally published on Bubblews and removed.

Image Credit » B. Radisavljevic. I took the picture.

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melody23 wrote on October 1, 2015, 5:27 AM

I love Halloween! Unfortunately living on the edge of a major city most people don't let their kids out trick or treating for safety reasons. When I was a kid we had such a good time because we knew everyone and everyone knew us, lots of the houses went right out of their way to make it fun for us. We even used to go to a teachers house where she would give us a big bag of treats each, but there was a catch, you had to sing a Scottish song as she was obsessed with Scottish history.

Paulie wrote on October 1, 2015, 5:30 AM

Unfortunately being a Buddhist country, Halloween is not celebrated in Thailand. When I was a kid, I remember going trick and treating with older neighbors. When I got older and lived in the States, I would usually give treats to kids who came around trick or treating.

LoudMan wrote on October 1, 2015, 5:32 AM

It's roots aren't "in Catholicism," but in much older pagan religions. The catlicks just lie about the origins. The practice is originally a ritual in honor of Shamhain. It's not about "death" or "ghouls" or "ghosts," either but, about new beginnings. Much like the Winter Solstice.

The begging for candy bit, this is a purely materialistic xian thing.

Last Edited: October 1, 2015, 5:36 AM

inertia4 wrote on October 1, 2015, 6:44 AM

Halloween morphed into a money making holiday just like christmas did. No one really thinks about the religious aspect of them anymore. It seems that anything that has potential to make money, they turn into a money machine. Even though I was raised catholic and knew some of what halloween was about, I never thought of it that way. For me, as a child, it was all about going out and collecting candy. As I got older it was all about having parties and having fun. Even some adults have big elaborate halloween parties. Nothing wrong with that. I enjoy it now because I have kids and i do decorate, in the house only, for them. I don't blame people for not trusting trick or treaters because of how it changed. I remember back in the 70's, it started with razors in apples and other dangerous things. People are better off just making little bags with useful things like you said. Maybe even money. Halloween now is associated with horror and death and gore. I see it now as all fantasy for a night of enjoyment.

MegL wrote on October 1, 2015, 8:43 AM

Halloween was not celebrated much in Wales when I was a child because Bonfire Night, November 5th was only a few days later. Here i Northern Ireland, Halloween is quite a bit of fun but my grandchildren do NOT go trick or treating unless it is to a few friends' houses, who have been warned ahead of time. I don't give out sweets but I will give out small amounts of change to trick or treaters. They are usually local children.

JohnRoberts wrote on October 1, 2015, 9:16 AM

Totally ignore it. It is a day like any other. Do like the increase in horror movies shown in October.

wolfgirl569 wrote on October 1, 2015, 9:51 AM

I love decorating this time of year, we are so far out that we dont get any kids anymore, but I still have fun with the hiliday

lexiconlover wrote on October 1, 2015, 11:21 AM

I haven't really celebrated it in a few years. We went all out when I worked at the daycare, but a lot of daycares and schools now today say no to dressing up because they don't want to offend anyone. I haven't decided if we will be doing anything this year.

WordChazer wrote on October 1, 2015, 3:28 PM

Our village has a tradition that if you are participating in trick or treat, you put a lit pumpkin or other illuminated Halloween decoration outside the door and leave your front porch light on. If you are not, you do neither. We have cheated in recent years, and crept over to the neighbors with chocolate for their son, although we do not recognise the the day. He's now 11 so old enough to go to real Halloween fancy dress parties with his mates instead of trick or treating as the younger children tend to do.

WordChazer wrote on October 1, 2015, 3:32 PM

My car was silly stringed one year because I shut the door in the face of some little monsters wanting money instead of chocolate. Whatever the hell they put in silly string is as bad as flour-water mix, I swear. It doesn't like metallic paint either!

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 8:48 PM

I have seen some people tell trick-or-treaters that they have to do a trick to get a treat.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 8:49 PM

Sounds like they really were little monsters.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 8:51 PM

I don't mind giving treats to the small fry, but I don't like it when uncostumed teens just come and beg.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 8:53 PM

Most holidays celebrated by Christians today do have pagan roots.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 8:54 PM

Trust the commercial entities to make us think we need their stuff to do our holidays right.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 8:55 PM

Maybe I should move to Tennessee. I'm at an age when I don't like opening my door to strangers.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 8:57 PM

I remember how my mom used to go over every piece of candy before I was allowed to eat it -- just to make sure everything was safe. I did the same with my own kids. Then they enjoyed trading candy with each other. I limited how much they could eat a day.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 8:59 PM

That's what I do when I'm in Templeton. I usually do go to Templeton on Halloween, but this year I will have just had cataract surgery and I won't be up to leaving Paso Robles.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 9:00 PM

I'm not a very festive person unless someone else does the decorating. I guess I'm just lazy, but somehow it seems a waste of time to spend so much effort on something so temporary.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 9:01 PM

Pretty soon no one will be able to celebrate anything for fear of someone being offended. It's a shame.

BarbRad wrote on October 1, 2015, 9:02 PM

Sounds like a wonderful tradition. I'm hoping if I don't turn on my porch light, I won't get visitors this year.

Feisty56 wrote on October 1, 2015, 10:01 PM

I have to chuckle about Christian churches being reluctant to participate in what may be based on pagan practices. The holidays of the church and many of its traditions were based in part on pagan rituals, the thinking being that incorporating some of the things familiar to pagans in the Christian tradition would make it more palatable for the pagans to convert.

Paulie wrote on October 1, 2015, 10:47 PM

I wouldn't like it either. I would be a little afraid they were up to something if I didn't treat them

inertia4 wrote on October 2, 2015, 8:29 AM

For me, Halloween is not about the retail stores. Yes I do decorate for my kids and we do have some treats. But the whole trick or treat thing is getting old.

mowke2013 wrote on October 2, 2015, 3:26 PM

Halloween is kind of a big deal for my family. We do not participate in trick-or-treating, mainly because we don't know any of our neighbors and also because our daughter is 12 and feels like she is too old. However, I throw a Halloween party for family and close friends and bake Halloween themed foods (think brain shaped rice krispie treats, guacamole coming out of a carved pumpkins mouth like vomit, coffin shaped brownies, etc.). We play Halloween bingo, watch Halloween themed movies like Corpse Bride and Hocus Pocus, eat and play card games. I am a Christian and I don't have any issue with celebrating the holiday. It is merely a fun day to make believe and be scary/get scared! I love it!

CoralLevang wrote on October 2, 2015, 5:05 PM

I remember, as a kid, trick-or-treating until 9 or 10 p.m. We would take pillowcases, and they would be a third-full by the time we finished.

VinceSummers wrote on October 2, 2015, 6:05 PM

Halloween observances go back to Catholicism, to be sure. But such notions go back yet further. Constantine essentially pressured religious leaders into merging so-called Christianity (weakened greatly by apostasy after the death of the apostles) with paganism. But what happens if even good apples are mixed with bad ones? Do the bad ones turn good?

paigea wrote on October 2, 2015, 9:33 PM

We decorate a little. If I substitute that day, I dress up. Usually just wear my husband's hockey jersey and helmet. I don't go buy a costume. We rarely get a trick or treater as we live way out in the country. I always hope to see some kids. Had lots of fun with it when my kids were young and when I was a kid.

AliCanary wrote on October 3, 2015, 4:37 AM

I make goodie bags that are apparently kind of famous, lol. Every year I have between 60-80 trick-or-treaters. I love to see the cute costumes!

WordChazer wrote on October 3, 2015, 1:08 PM

That's not our reason, Feisty56 , although I know many of our church friends don't play either. With us it's more that we don't really have a connection with the youngsters in the village, except the neighbors' boy and the two girls across the way who are too young for trick or treating yet. Next year I reckon the oldest girl may well be the one we're creeping across the road to donate chocolate to.

BarbRad wrote on October 3, 2015, 2:04 PM


BarbRad wrote on October 3, 2015, 2:06 PM

But then you run the risk of unruly kids getting even. The older ones whose parents aren't with them.

BarbRad wrote on October 3, 2015, 2:08 PM

Sounds like a fun time at your house. I wish kids in this neighborhood thought twelve was too old to trick-or-treat.

BarbRad wrote on October 3, 2015, 2:09 PM

I seem to remember using a pillowcase one year.

BarbRad wrote on October 3, 2015, 2:10 PM

Nope. The good ones turn bad.

BarbRad wrote on October 3, 2015, 2:11 PM

I think it's appropriate to wear a helmet when you substitute.

Last Edited: October 3, 2015, 2:12 PM

BarbRad wrote on October 3, 2015, 2:13 PM

I guess I'm just growing into an old fuddy-duddy. But my husband really likes to see the little spooks and give them candy.

VinceSummers wrote on October 3, 2015, 3:38 PM

Exactly. And that's just why the majority of so-called Christianity in no way lives up to the standards found in the Bible. As a simple example, those of a particular religion in "Land A" go to war and kill those of the same religion in "Land B."

paigea wrote on October 3, 2015, 8:45 PM

lol. I am having a great time subbing. But I have to say, I prefer to miss Halloween, it is a little too hectic. But if someone is sick, I will go.

lokisdad wrote on November 23, 2015, 7:47 PM

WE have noticed less and less happening on this holiday too. It makes our kids sad. We don't hand out candy because we are taking our kids to trick or treat we however consider it to be a commercial holiday in our home just like valentine's. We know its history but why ruin it for our kids. Its the one day of the year they get to be whatever they want to be real or not like a princess and a ninja and they get candy. We however don't let them eat the candies unless we know the people handing it out. The stuff they get from stranger gets tossed or eaten by us we always buy a bag or two of candy for just in case nobody is handing any out like the last 2 years.

BarbRad wrote on November 24, 2015, 12:39 AM

This year Halloween came three days after my eye surgery and we just left the porch light off and put a note over the bell. Our neighborhood actually had a sign-up list this year for those who wanted to welcome treat-or-treaters. I think that was a great idea.

lokisdad wrote on November 24, 2015, 9:29 AM

I hope your surgery went well. It sounds like a good idea and when my children get older and don't want to dress up and go trick or treating we will probably hand candy out and throw small Halloween parties at our house for them to still enjoy the festivities. Bob for apples things like that depending on the age of the guests. Maybe a scare crow piñata and games like pin the tail on the donkey but i will make it a cat instead.

BarbRad wrote on November 26, 2015, 4:05 AM

Why a cat?