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American Halloween Customs

Trick or Treat: Children dress up in costume and go door to door throughout their neighborhood on Halloween night collecting candy and food in the name of the ancestors. They knock on the door and as the door is opened they yell Trick or Treat and hold out their candy bags. If no candy or treats are given a mischevious trick can be played on the homeowner. Trick examples are: smashing pumpkins, throwing eggs, covering the homeowner’s property with toilet paper, or doorbell ditch which is knocking on the door and running away when it is answered – Death knocks and is invisible. The dead are abroad. Refusing food to the dead is a sacrilege. trick or treat: cleas nó cóir. (pron: class noh koh-ir)

Halloween Foods: The most popular Halloween candy is chocolate. Other treats: lollipops, candy corn (sugar candy shaped like corn kernals of maize), cotton candy (colored spun sugar that is known as fairy floss), hard candies, sugar sticks, toffee, nougats, bubble gum, gummy candy (gelatin), cupcakes, doughnuts, pumpkin pie (pureéd squash baked with brown sugar, milk, nutmeg), apples, nuts, popcorn balls (popped maize corn kernals rolled in syrup) and apple cider.

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© 1998. Christine O’Keeffe, Ver. 3.0. Wednesday, October 11, 2006