Posts Tagged ‘Trick or Treating Etiquette


Hallowe’en Trick or Treating Etiquette

Hallowe’en is creeping into communities around the world as a fun and festive family oriented celebration. Its origins are thought to be with Roman or Celtic end of summer and harvest festivals. One Hallowe’en custom popular in North America is trick or treating. Children dress in ghoulish or witty costumes and visit door-to-door in their neighbourhoods chanting “Trick or Treat!”, receiving candy “treats” in return. Guidelines have evolved over the years as some unpleasant experiences have been endured. Here are some Trick or Treating guidelines to share with the goblins or treat-givers in your neighbourhood in order to make Hallowe’en a happy event for all.

  • Trick or Treating gets underway when darkness falls – as early as 5 pm or so. Be sure to have your porch light on and any obstacles (including big dogs!) removed from the pathways.
  • If you are unavailable or have chosen not to participate, then turn your lights off and close the curtains. Trick or Treaters should respect your situation and leave your home off their route. This means not performing any destructive tricks to the property!
  • Treats may be distributed by the homeowner or children may be offered to “Help Yourself”. When “helping oneself” take only one treat unless specifically offered more. Don’t be greedy!
  • The doorbell should be rung once followed by a knock a few moments later if there is no response. Don’t be impatient or rude. It is Hallowe’en so visitors are expected! Give the homeowners time to get to the door.
  • Choose costumes carefully with safety and respect in mind. Visibility on a dark and often rainy night is vitally important as is ability for the costume-wearer to be mobile. Do consider the appropriateness (or in-appropriateness) of overtly sexy or violent costumes on youngsters.
  • Trick or treating is for youngsters. If you are taller than most of the people answering the doors, then your Hallowe’en festivities should move to parties and away from trick or treating.
  • Always say your thank yous and be friendly when asked about your costume.
  • Be respectful of people’s property (and pumpkins) Keep to the sidewalk and avoid tramping on the grass and plants. Open and close gates carefully.
Sadly, it seems every year there are reports of delinquency and vandalism. Please remember that Trick or Treating is for families and children and their safety and comfort should come first.
Happy Hallowe’en!



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