Well, it seems the best way to look at Halloween and to answer the age old question of “Why do we give out Halloween Candy?” is to give it a little history lesson.
Halloween goes back as far as the Druids from Celtic time. Their New Years was celebrated November 1st which coincided with the harvest . Although they did not celebrate with candy, the celebration was one involving bounty, and was often rather celebrated with bonfires. Fast forward a century or so and along come the Romans who conquer the Celtics and adedd their celebration of the deceased along with the harvest into their own culture! The Romans were then indoctrinated by the church resulting in all Saints Day on November 1st or on the eve of All Hallowed Saints day. In other words October 31st. A common practice on these days in the Roman times was to celebrate those who had passed with sweets and pastries. The first incarnation of Halloween Candy!
Skip a few more centuries and the English take the two days to a new level where Halloween costumes and masks are adorned to keep evil spirits away and make sure your identity was protected from these ghouls. Similarly began the tradition of leaving out scraps of food in order to appease passing spirits, but this also began the practice of “souling”. Souling was a practice adopted by the poor where on All Hallowed Saints day they would pass from door to door offering blessings of safety and prayers in exchange for offerings. Thus the first instances of trick-or-treating was born!
Ok, now it’s the turn of the century in the 1900’s and Civic as well as Church leaders began to enhance the celebration by having parades during which they would get the community and families involved. Thus, Halloween as we know it is here.
Although lost in modern culture as the spiritual holiday it used to be, Halloween was once an important holiday to both Pagans and Christians alike. It symbolized both bounty, but also the end of a lifecycle, and has had a host of bizarre rites associated with it, but I think we can all agree, nothing is sweeter than the practice of giving Halloween Candy.