Millions of kids will take to the streets trick-or-treating for Halloween
this week in hopes of scoring a big sack of candy. When did this annual ritual begin in America?
Wikipedia has some rough dates:
In North America, trick-or-treating has been a Halloween tradition since the late 1920s.
“Americans have fostered them, and are making this an occasion something like what it must have been in its best days overseas. All Hallowe’en customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries”.
While the first reference to “guising” in North America occurs in 1911, another reference to ritual begging on Halloween appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920.