American Halloween Part 2

The buzz has begun and our ESL students are excited for the Hancock International College Halloween Party and Workshop! We’ve planned a lot of fun activities and are excited to share them with our students at a presentation today after school!

Deliriumsrealm.com goes on to say, “Halloween As A Communal Celebration

By the 1900s, the focus had shifted from a religious holiday to a more communal celebration. “Guising” was actually a practice dating back to the middle ages, when the poor would go around asking for food or money. Borrowing from the English and Irish traditions, children adopted the practice of guising and would dress up in costumes, but there are only isolated references to children actually going door to door asking for food or money during Halloween. Instead parties were held and had a more festive atmosphere with colorful costumes. The frightening and superstitious aspects of Halloween had diminished somewhat, and Halloween in America was slowly shedding some of the old European traditions favoring more light-hearted celebrations.

Trick or Treat

Trick or TreatDespite the good natures of some people, Halloween pranks and mischief had become a huge problem in the 1920s and 1930s, mostly because the pranks often turned into vandalism, property damage and even physical assaults. Bad kids and even organizations such as the KKK, used the Halloween as an excuse to engage in criminal activity. Schools and communities did the best they could to curb vandalism by encouraging the “trick or treat” concept. The Boy Scouts got into the act by organizing safe events like school carnivals and local neighborhood trick or treat outings for children, hoping this would stir troublemakers away. But the Trick or Treat idea did face some controversy, as some parents and community leaders would take a stance that Trick or Treat was along the same lines as extortion, either the homes gave children “treats” or the families would be maliciously targeted with “tricks” for not complying. Regardless, by the late 30s, vandalism was decreasing as more and more children opted to partake in Trick or Treat.

The earliest known print of the words “Trick or Treat” did not occur until 1934, when a Portland, Oregon newspaper ran an article about how Halloween pranks kept local police officers on their toes. There would be sporadic instances of the phrase “Trick or Treat” used in the media during the 1930s, eventually making its way onto Halloween cards. But the practice we see today, children dressed in costume, going house to house saying “Trick or Treat” did not really come about until the mid 1940s. Today, those original vintage Halloween cards depicting the “Trick or Treat” words are collector’s items.

The First Halloween Celebrations

Anoka, Minnesota, a.k.a the “Halloween Capital of the World,” was the first city in America to officially hold a Halloween celebration, in an effort to divert kids from pulling pranks like tipping outhouses and letting cows loose to run around on Main Street. The town organized a parade and spent the weeks prior planning and making costumes. Treats of popcorn, peanuts and candy to any children who participated in the parade, followed by a huge bonfire in the town square. The event grew over time and has been held every year since 1920 except 1942 and 1943 when festivities were cancelled due to World War II. These days Anoka, holds elaborate Halloween festivals with a parade, carnivals, costume contests, house decorating, and other community celebrations, living up to its self-proclaimed title of “Halloween Capital of the World.” Salem, Massachusetts, associated mostly with witches due in part to its long and sometimes torrid history, also lays claim to the title. Many historians quietly back away from that debate leaving the two cities to duke it out for themselves.”

Full Article: https://www.deliriumsrealm.com/history-halloween-america/

Idiom of the Day

Come Back to Haunt Someone

Meaning: to make a mistake that will affect a person later on

Example: I skipped school a month ago, and now it’s come back to haunt me because my parents somehow found out.