Trick or Treat
“Trick or treat, smell my feet, give
me something good to eat” – CHARMING!
history of Halloween can be traced back over 2,000 years and
for most of this time, food of some kind or another has been closely associated with
The earliest celebrations were among the Celts who not only
worshiped a Sun God but also Samhain who was the lord of the
dead. They believed that Samhain called up the souls of the
dead who would take the forms of animals and roam over the
Earth through the night of the 31st October. It was called
the Vigil of Samhain.
Many years later All Saints Day or All Hallows Day
celebrated by the Roman Catholic faith on 1st November was
established as a means of replacing the pagan Vigil of
Samhain however with the increased practising of witchcraft,
31st October became known as the Night of the Witch and
later All Hallows Even or The Night of the Dead. Through
time, the name was shortened firstly to Hallowe'en and
eventually to Halloween.
… so what do pumpkins have to do with it ?
The hollowed out pumpkin (Jack 'o Lantern) was named after a
man called Jack, who was an infamous drunkard and trickster.
He tricked Satan into climbing a tree then carved an image
of a cross in the tree's trunk, thereby trapping the devil
up the tree. He made a pact with the devil that, if the
devil would never tempt him to wicked ways again, he would
promise to let him down the tree.
However, after Jack died, not only was he was denied in to
Heaven because of his previous evil ways but was also denied
access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. The devil
instead gave him a single ember to light his way through the
darkness. This was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to
keep it glowing longer. How exactly the pumpkin came to take
its place is still a mystery .
… so where does “trick or treat” come into all of this?
If you thought trick or treating was a US invention
then think again. Its origins can be traced back over
2000 not only to the Celts, but also the Chinese, Egyptians
and Aztecs. Still closely tied with the night of the dead,
it was believed that spirits required food and drink to
placate them and so people would leave out morsels of food
for their consumption. Not to do so may encourage them to
enter your house, cause havoc and help themselves.
As time went on, people began dressing as spirits and
performing antics in exchange for food and drink. It is this
practice, called "mumming", which evolved into the
present-day trick or treating.
… so what can you do with all the pumpkin flesh
One of the easiest things is to make soup – very welcome now
the nights are drawing in. Here are 3 soup recipes for you
To find more pumpkin recipes on the
site, either visit our
recipes page or use the
search form. There's also a page dedicated
to this wonderful autumn vegetable containing lots
cultivation and uses.
Happy Halloween & Pumpkin Cooking !