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The Origins of Trick-or-Treating: Background information when reading How to Pronounce Knife

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How to Pronounce Knife

by Souvankham Thammavongsa

How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa X
How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa
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  • Published:
    Apr 2020, 192 pages

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Dean Muscat
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The Origins of Trick-or-Treating

This article relates to How to Pronounce Knife

Girl in a Halloween costume in Ontario, 1928 In the story "Chick-A-Chee!" from How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa, an immigrant father takes his children trick-or-treating on Halloween in the hope that they will integrate better into the local culture.

Around the world today, treat-or-treating is very much seen as an all-American activity. However, its origins can be traced back to the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain (pronounced SOW'inn), which is still celebrated by modern pagans. During this end-of-summer festival, the ancient Celts believed that the barrier between the world of the gods and humankind was lifted and that deities played tricks on humans.

In the 8th century CE, Christians began to celebrate All Saints' Day, a day to honor saints and martyrs, on November 1st. This celebration, which became combined with some Samhain traditions, was known as Hallowmas, and the evening before as All Hallows' Eve (which would become "Halloween"). One Hallowmas tradition was for poor folk to go knocking ...

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