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Author Topic: Trick-or-treating  (Read 743 times)
Jennifer O'Dell
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Posts: 4546

« on: October 07, 2007, 01:13:39 am »


In Scotland and parts of northern England, a similar traition is called guising because of the disguise or costume worn by the children. Like trick-or-treating, it arose as a Halloween practice only in the twentieth century. However there is a significant difference from the way the practice has developed in the United States. In Scotland, the children are only supposed to receive treats if they perform for the households they go to. This normally take the form of singing a song or reciting a joke or a funny poem which the child has memorized before setting out. Occasionally a more talented child may do card tricks, play the mouth organ, or something even more impressive, but most children will earn plenty of treats even with something very simple. However, guising is falling out of favour somewhat, being replaced in some parts of the country with the American form of trick-or-treating.

In modern Ireland there is neither the Scottish party-piece nor the American jocular threat, just "treats" — in the form of apples or nuts given out to the children. However, in 19th and early 20th century Ireland it was often much more extravagant — for example, slates were placed over the chimney-pots of houses filling the rooms with smoke and field gates were lifted off their hinges and hung from high tree branches.

Until the 1990s, Irish children said "Help the Halloween Party," but are now more inclined to use the American "Trick or treat" due to the influence of American popular culture, movies, and television. In Waterford, the phrase "attin far Halloween" is still commonly used, being the vernacular pronounciation of "anything for Halloween".

In Quebec, Canada, children also go door to door on Halloween. However, in French speaking neighbourhoods, instead of "Trick or treat?", they will simply say "Halloween", though in tradition it used to be La charité s'il-vous-plaît (Charity, please).

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