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Why do people say trick-or-treat?

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  • It's like: "I will trick you (prank you) or you can treat me (to some candy)"
  • People long ago believed that evil spirits and ghosts came out on all Hallows eve ( halloween, also fall harvest festival ), and would cause them harm or be mischiefous if they were not appeased. Halloween was perceived as the night during which the division between the world of the living and the otherworld was blurred so spirits of the dead and inhabitants from the underworld were able to walk free on the earth. It was believed necessary to dress as a spirit or otherworldly creature when venturing outdoors to blend in, and this is where dressing in such a manner for Halloween comes from. This gradually evolved into trick-or-treating because children would knock on their neighbors' doors, in order to gather fruit, nuts, and sweets for the Halloween festival. Salt was once sprinkled in the hair of the children to protect against evil spirits. People would dress as spirits to blend in or not be noticed bty the other spirits moving around. When someone came to the door they would not know if they were looking at a person collecting food for the festival or a spirit wanting to cause mayhem so a gift of food was given ( sacrifice ), so that either way they were safe.
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