It happens every year. The kids among us get to dress up like fairies and monsters, and collect candy from neighbors. This year, let’s throw a little twist in things; lets make it trick-or-treating for adults. That’s right, this ain’t just for kids anymore. With adult-themed trick-or-treating, you can make it a super buzzy Halloween.
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The Halloween candy connection
If you take a step back, it’s a bit odd, and sounds dangerous. Every year we dress up our children in crazy outfits, and then send them out to collect food gifts from unknown people. And we’re pretty excited to do it. Which makes sense, of course, as very few children turn down the chance to fill a bag with candy, especially when there’s no work attached.
Where does this strange custom of having our children go around asking random people for sweets come from? It’s a two-part story. In fact, Halloween in the way we know it today, was born in the early 1900’s, in America.
Back in the day, Halloween wasn’t about candy, or at least, not more than other celebratory holidays. You could find candy at annual parties, mostly of the candy corn or taffy varieties. The holiday in general was more one for playing pranks.
The idea of playing pranks was a big part of it, and possibly the impetus for Mischief Night (aka Hell’s Night, Devil’s Night etc..), which now takes place the night before Halloween, and is based around the idea of being mischievous. Up until the 1930’s, mischief took place on Halloween, and for a time, this was manageable. In the 1930’s, however, things took a turn for the worst, and these behaviors started to spread to bigger cities, and became more destructive (like the Mischief Night of today).
It was bad enough that civic groups in different locations thought of banning the holiday. Instead, a different idea was offered, and subsequently taken up. In order to keep kids happy, the practice started of buying children off with candy and other sweets. Kids were essentially sidetracked with costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating, to keep them in line. By the mid-1930’s, the term ‘trick-or-treat’ appeared, with its first official mention in 1936.
Back in this time, the treats given out were usually homemade, like doughnuts or popcorn. World War II temporarily brought an end to this, as sugar was rationed; but upon its end, Halloween and trick-or-treating came back in a big way. The two were spurred on by popular television shows offering Halloween episodes; and big candy companies, which capitalized on the idea that pre-packaged foods were thought of as safer, and easier for busy moms.
Why do we collect candy from neighbors?
Candy associated with a holiday is one thing, but that doesn’t explain the act of trick-or-treating, wherein kids knock on door after door to add a Snickers to their pile. When it comes to this, it actually harks back to much older traditions, which is the first part of the story. The traditions that predate our version of Halloween.
Halloween goes back over two thousands years, when it was called Samhain, and celebrated by the Celts as a harvest holiday. End of harvest was associated with the dead returning, and celebrations saw some dressing up, and others leaving out foodstuffs for wandering souls. This turned into specifically dressing up as ghosts and monster-types, and performing tricks in exchange for treats – get it? Back then it wasn’t called trick-or-treating, but ‘mumming’.
When Celtic traditions were taken over by Christian traditions, the holiday changed. Christians had their own version, which involved something called ‘souling’. In this tradition, the poor visited the rich and offered to pray for the souls of the dying in their families, in return for ‘soul cakes’. In time, it became specifically children sent to do this job. In England and Ireland, it turned into going from house to house to sing and tell jokes, and to trade off services for treats (‘guising’).
These traditions made it to the US upon immigrants coming to the New World. Though candy didn’t quite factor in, the idea of going from house to house, and having parties, did. In the post war era, when things really picked up again, this practice of going from house to house became more widespread, and when the candy companies got in on it, candy became the offering of choice, and the reason for the door-to-door adventures.
By the 1960’s, candy was a big deal in the trick-or-treating world, and by the 1970’s, the prepackaged goods had cemented their place, partly for safety reasons. Sugary candies might not be the healthiest thing, but the prepared nature was preferable to parents who were afraid that homemade goods might be tampered with.
This was mainly because of a case in the 1970’s that revolved around a father poisoning his own son’s candy in an effort to get insurance money. These fears were accompanied by more stories, like razor blades in chocolate bars, and though it really wasn’t a problem in the end, pre-packaging won out.
Halloween and candy are so completely tied at this point, that drug store and supermarket candy shelves go bare this time of year in preparation. According to Huffington Post, approximately 600 million pounds of candy are sold yearly for Halloween, which means approximately 16 billion fun size candy bars. That’s a lot of sweetness.
Trick-or-treating for adults
When looking at the history of Halloween and trick-or-treating, its about both adults and children, even if now the trick-or-treating it left solely for the kids. This year, let’s change that. Let’s bring trick-or-treating back for the adult community, and let’s do it in a bang up way. I have the perfect idea for a cannabis-infused, trick-or-treating experience for the adults among us. A game we can all play.
Don’t worry though, this isn’t a game with a lot of rules. This Halloween, go to your local dispensary and pick up some high-flying weed edibles to hand out to your friends. Or, alternately, go back to the old-school mentality and bake up some super-sweet infused edibles. Whether store bought or homemade, the one thing for sure is, you won’t be working off a sugar high this year.
Next, while leaving one responsible adult at home to dole out the munchie-inducing munchies, the rest can go out and do some… trick-or-treating, the adult way. Just go round to all your friends houses who are participating, and pick up what they’re handing out. At the end of the night, you’re sure to have a sack full of some super dope edibles, and the best part is, you’ll have a variety of options.
Now, if you’ve got kids at home, best to make sure they’re taken care of before starting your own trick-or-treating for adults experience. But once everything is set up (kids taken care of, work done, house presentable, chores finished, and whatever else is necessary), its all about you in your grown-up princess dress, cat outfit, or vampire teeth, doing Halloween the grown up way.
I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do. We all see fit to celebrate things in our own way. Maybe for you it means curling up on the sofa with some Rocky Horror, or making it a monster movie marathon. Maybe you prefer handing out candy to kids, or rocking out at Halloween parties. For those still in the trick-or-treating spirit, don’t let being adults put a kibosh on the fun. Get your edibles ready, and do some trick-or-treating in the only way adults should.
For more adult-themed fun, check out this guide for a super-awesome, weed-infused Halloween.
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