Why are tricks part of Halloween? For some celebrants, Halloween is as much about tricks as it is treats. But why are tricks even involved with Halloween?
For most of the year, playing pranks on loved ones and neighbors may not be met with open arms. But attitudes tend to relax on or around October 31, when millions of people celebrate Halloween.
According to Smithsonian.com, the tricks played on Halloween can be traced to 19th century celebrations of the holiday. Even though Halloween can trace its roots back thousands of years to the Celtic countries of northwestern Europe, the notion that it was acceptable to prank one’s neighbors is a relatively recent addition to Halloween lore.
Smithsonian.com also notes that, in the 19th century, Halloween night was a time for pranks, and it was not uncommon for older children to jump out from behind bushes to frighten young kids. Communities were generally smaller and more closely knit back then than they are today, which made it safer to pull pranks on Halloween.
However, as the United States became more modern and urbanized, the once-innocent mischief gradually transformed into mayhem, prompting many people to call for Halloween celebrations that were safer for young children. Modern Halloween celebrations are not nearly as mischief-heavy as those of centuries past, though many celebrants still find it fun to play a mischievous prank or two on their loved ones come October 31.
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