Borrowing from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. To keep ghosts away from their houses, people would also place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. Thus, a new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.
The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits.
In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes.
This Halloween come join the Dallas community to celebrate. If you are looking for a kid friendly events Dallas will be having Trick N Treat, and churches will be hosting Trunk and Treats. For adults, many of our local wineries and bars will be holding festivities.
This Halloween be safe, and have fun!