My son Elijah asked me a brilliant question this morning. Why do we go trick or treating? Leading up to Halloween he asked several other questions. I’ve distilled my answers for you, so that you can reflect on how you may want to answer your child’s curious questions.
Why do we go trick or treating?
Halloween is also known as “All Hallowed Evening”. It’s the night before the Day of the Dead.
What’s the Day of the Dead?
It’s a special day when we remember the people in our lives who have died like Grandma and Grandpa Wait. Tonight we will put out their photos and on Saturday we will visit their graves.
Why do people have scary decorations in their yard at Halloween?
They are kind of scary, aren’t they? Well, death is scary and Halloween is a time when we think about death. When someone dies, we have often strong feelings. We feel sad or angry. And one of the ways to respond to those feelings is to be creative, funny, or scary.
Why do we carve pumpkins for Halloween?
Sometimes we feel sad. Sometimes we feel happy. And sometimes we want to be scary, boo! So we carve pumpkins to try on different ways of feeling.
Why do we wear costumes?
It’s fun to dress up and imagine ourselves as someone else when we go trick-or-treating. We can imagine that we are strong, scary or magical.
Why do our neighbors give us candy?
Because we have neighbors who are kind and good and generous and they wanted you to know that you’re special. Remember to say thank you when you go trick-or-treating, that way our neighbors will know they’re special too.
But do you know what’s best about trick or treating?
The best thing about trick or treating is that I get to do it with you.