The word Hallowe'en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin, meaning "hallowed evening" or "holy evening." It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day), with the word "eve" (from "even"), contracted to e'en or een.
Some researchers speculate that the modern "trick-or-treat" ritual may stem from the Scottish practice of "guising," a secular version of "souling." In the Middle Ages, soulers, children and poor adults, would go to local homes and collect food or money in return for prayers said for the dead on All Souls’ Day. Guisers discarded the prayers in favor of less religious performances like jokes, songs, or other “tricks.”
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Hallowe'en & Spooky Dance Index
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