The custom of trick-o-treating is said to owe its origin to a ninth-century European custom known as 'souling.' All Souls Day was practiced by the early Christians on November 2. As a part of this custom the poor would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made of square pieces of bread with currants. The common people would give these beggars soul cakes in exchange of promises from them that that they would pray for the departed souls of the near and dear ones of these people. It was believed that the spirits of the deceased roam in the earth for a few days and that earnest prayers can make the passage of these departed souls to heaven easier and faster.
In the Modern days, the role of these beggars has been taken over by
the children. Treat or trick Halloween tradition is now symbolical of
our reconfirmation of social bondage. Trick-or-Treat is a custom
celebrated both in England and US. As part of the Halloween celebrations
the kids put on ghostly masks and weird costumes and visit the houses in
their neighborhoods. They shout, "Trick-or-Treat" and
challenge the inhabitants to choose one out of the two. The challenge
lies in the fact that if the inhabitants choose not to give them treat
then they would have to prepare their minds to face the trick played by
The mythical association states that there were groups of peasants,
wearing masks. They went from house to house, led by Lair Bhan, which
means white mare. He was the leader wearing a white robe and a horse
head. The horse was believed to be sacred and a symbol of fertility.
These peasants went begging for money to buy luxuries for a feast. They
also demanded fatted calves and black sheep to be prepared for the
feast. These contributions were requested in the name of Muck Olla who
was the sun god of the Druids. Prosperity was assured to the liberal
givers and those who were stingy had to face threatening.