Trick-or-treating is a traditional Halloween custom for children and adults in some countries. In the evening before All Saints' Day 1 November , children in costumes travel from house to house, asking for treats with the phrase "Trick or treat". The "treat" is usually some form of candy , although in some cultures money is given instead.
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If there are ghosts , goblins, witches, astronauts , cartoon characters, and a wild variety of oddly dressed creatures visiting your door asking for candy , chances are it's Halloween. In the United States and Canada, trick-or-treating has been a popular Halloween activity since the late s. Scottish children hoped to prevent evil spirits from doing harm by dressing like them. They carried lanterns made out of hollow turnips and at various homes asked for treats, such as cakes, fruit, and money. Immigrants brought these local customs to North America in the early 20th century. No one knows for sure how or why that particular term came to be. The custom of trick-or-treating started in the western United States and Canada and slowly moved eastward. The custom stalled during World War II because sugar was rationed during that time. From the s onward, however, the custom picked up steam and has been the central focus of Halloween ever since. Today, Halloween trick-or-treating is big business.
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Top definition. Trick or Treat. A threat issued by children in costumes as they go door-to-door on Halloween night, which roughly translates to "give me candy unless you want your house covered in toilet paper and eggs.