Halloween (or Hallowe’en) is a mostly national holiday celebrated on the evening of October 31; today it is often celebrated in the morning and afternoon as well. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, visiting haunted attractions, carving jack-o'-lanterns, reading scary stories, and watching horror movies. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the traditions to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century. Halloween is celebrated in several countries of the Western world, most commonly in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and at times in parts of New Zealand. In Sweden, the All saint's official holiday takes place on the first Saturday of November.
Trick-or-treating, is a custom for children on Halloween in which they proceed from house to house in costumes, asking for treats such as confectionery or sometimes money with the question, "Trick or treat?" The "trick" part of "trick or treat" is an idle threat to play a trick on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. Trick-or-treating is one of the main traditions of Halloween. It has become socially expected that if one lives in a neighborhood with children one should purchase treats in preparation for trick-or-treaters. The National Confectioners Association reported in 2005 that 80 percent of adults in the United States planned to give out confectionery to trick-or-treaters, and that 93 percent of children planned to go trick-or-treating.
In modern Ireland there is neither the Scottish party-piece nor the American jocular threat, just "treats" — in the form of apples or nuts given out to the children. However, in 19th and early 20th century Ireland it was often much more extravagant — for example, slates were placed over the chimney-pots of houses filling the rooms with smoke and field gates were lifted off their hinges and hung from high tree branches.
Until the 1990s, Irish children said "Help the Halloween Party," but are now more inclined to use the American "Trick or treat" due to the influence of American popular culture, movies, and television. In Waterfold, the phrase "attin far Halloween" is still commonly used, being the vernacular pronunciation of "anything for Halloween".
In Qubec, Canada, children also go door to door on Halloween. However, in French speaking neighbourhoods, instead of "Trick or treat?", they will simply say "Halloween", though in tradition it used to be La charité s'il-vous-plaît (Charity, please).
In Ohio, Iowa, and Massachusetts, the night designated for Trick-or-treating is referred to as Beggars Night since moving the date from Halloween in a successful effort to end the vandalism that had often accompanied Halloween activities
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