In 5 days, millions of children around the country (and some places of the world) will be jacked up on sugar and go to bed having imbibed in entirely too much and wake up in the middle of the night throwing up or moaning with a tummy ache. Otherwise known as trick-or-treating.
According to wikipedia, trick-or-treating began as guising in Scotland in 1895. This was the tradition of masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visiting homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. This is also when the tradition of “this house” blows began, because who wants fruit?
The official term of trick-or-treat began somewhere around the 1920s or 30s, but was heavily stalled during the years of World War II when sugar was rationed. This was the era of much calmer children because soda was probably rationed too.
So trick-or-treating didn’t really come into full swing in North America until the 1950s when those darn kids probably listened to rock-n-roll at the same time. I think this is probably when parents started digging into their kids’ stash simply saying “that music is too loud” and not being able to really do anything about the music’s evolution but took their candy out of frustration.
Halloween and trick-or-treating really came into its own in 1968, when the Mars Company first introduced the fun-sized candy bar. Finally, none of that lollipop crap, the holiday was now where it was supposed to be: overrun by chocolate! Now your neighbors on the block could be properly rated by the brand they chose to distribute. M & M’s, Snickers, even Kit Kat, meant that you would be sure to get their morning paper right on the doorstep. And in later years you knew who to ask if they needed their lawn mowed: their choice of candy gave a hint as to their disposable income.
So this week all of the candy manufacturers are drinking and smoking cigars; this is one holiday that will not be affected by the economy. People will buy way too much candy and children will barf it all up.