TRICK OR TREAT?
There are a few customs
associated with this spooky event, making it more fun for children. It
basically an ultimatum given by children who call on houses to solicit
gifts at Halloween.
The origins of the
practise of souling or trick or treating lies in Mediveal Europe. It
involved going from door to door on or about All Souls Day to solicit
gifts of food in return for prayers for the dead. A refrence was made to
this custom in John Brand's 'Popular Antiquities of great Britain' 1779.
It had in it :
"On All Saints Day, the
poor people go from parish to parish a Souling, as they call it."
The custom soon modified a little and children disguised themselves and
went from door to door asking for gifts. The "trick" part of "trick or
treat" is a threat to play a trick on the homeowner or his property if
no treat is given. "Trick or Treat?" is one of the most important
tradition of halloween.
JACK O LANTERN
The origin of carving Jack'o Lanterns dates back to ancient
Ireland and linked to the story of an Irish blacksmith names Jack who
was notorious for being a trickster. He invited the Devil to have a
drink with him. When it came to paying or the drink, he convinced the
Devil to turn to a sixpence. But instead of paying it, he kept it in his
pocket and kept it beside the silver cross which did not allow the devil
to change him back. Then Jack made a deal with the Devil to not claim
his soul for 10 years.
The Devil agreed to this. The very next year Jack died and was denied
admittance to the heaven for his deceitful ways of living. He then
turned to the gates of Hell, but the Devil had to turn him away because
he agreed never to take Jack's soul. "But where can I go?", asked Jack.
"Back where you came from!", replied the Devil. But the way back was too
dark to see anything and Jack pleaded with the Devil to provide him a
light to find his way. The Devil, threw a live coal at Jack straight
from the fire of Hell to light his way and to keep it from blowing out
in the wind, Jack put it in a turnip he was eating. Ever since, Jack has
been doomed to wander in darkness with his lantern until "Judgment Day."
And thus the practise of Jack'O Lantern came to existence.