It’s Just Plain Weird: Trick or Treating

trick or treating

Where did the tradition of Trick or Treating come from?

According to Smithsonian.com it all began with a Celtic tradition in celebration of the end of the year. The idea was to dress us as an evil spirit. People believed that, with the changing of the year, the spirits could overlap and start to roam the earth. By dressing as one of the spirits, the real spirits would believe you were one of them and would not harm you.

In the Middle Ages, the act of trick or treating started with children in costume going door to door to beg for food or money, it was said to be for “the dead.” This was called “souling.” There was sometimes a threat of mischief if nothing was forthcoming.

“Guising” was recorded in Scotland in 1895 when costumes were worn and lanterns were made out of turnips. Cake, fruit and money were handed out to the revelers.

Trick or treating became common in North America in the 1920s and gained in popularity after the end of World War 11 after the end of sugar rationing.

Today, Halloween celebrations are almost as popular as Christmas with the sale of costumes, candy and decorations. In 2016, the National Retail Federation estimated $8.4 billion would be spent on Halloween.

The World’s Oldest Living Animal

At the age of 183, Jonathan the Tortoise is the oldest living animal in the world.

Since 1882, he has lived on St. Helena, a remote island in the south Atlantic, in the grounds of Plantation House, the home of the governor of the island. St. Helena is most famous as the place Napoleon was exiled to by the British. Napoleon died on this island.

A serious decline in Jonathan’s health was discovered by Dr. Joe Hollins, the island’s vet. Cataracts were causing Jonathan to go blind and he was not able to forage for the right kind of food. The vet’s prescription was a change in diet to more nutritious foods such as apples, bananas, lettuce, guava and carrots. This has turned Jonathan’s health around and he is happier and healthier and could possibly live to be 200.

 

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