Halloween and Trick-or-Treating

CY: So, like I say, it’s Halloween, right, and we’re lucky Louie doesn’t have razor wire around his yard, you know how he is. So finally one of the neighborhood kids, he gets all courageous and he goes sauntering up to the door and he goes ‘trick or treat!’.

Halloween is a contraction of All Hallows Evening, the night before All Hallows Day, which is November 1 (so Halloween is October 31). Alluded to several times already in the show as an important date on the calendar, it is a day for remembering the dead with a Christian name but with probable pagan roots.

Halloween customs were brought to North America in the 19th century by Scottish and Irish immigrants. In return, the American influence on Halloween has spread around the world in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Trick-or-treating is a Halloween tradition where children dress in costumes and travel from house to house, asking for treats, with the phrase, “Trick or treat?”. The “trick” is a threat, usually idle, to commit some small act of mischief on the homeowner should no treat be provided.

The custom goes back to at least the 16th century in Scotland and Ireland, where it was called guising. In America, trick-or-treating has been a tradition since the 1920s; the earliest known example is from Canada in 1911.

It is apt that one of the last things that happen in this episode is a memory shared of Louie’s behaviour on Halloween, since it is day for the remembrance and honour given to the dead.

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