|photo by ana traina ~ 2011 ~|
Over time 'Trick or Treating' has taken on many local variations. For example in Scotland from about 1850 to 1965, the guisers would patrol not with a pumpkin lantern, but a tumshie lamp made of swede ( rutabaga) or turnip.
In this Scottish variation, the children would knock at the door and ask: 'Are ye wantin' any guisers?'. If the householders wanted to play the game, they would invite in the children and try and guess the identities of the guisers. Still no treat. In order to get food, or a coin, the children had to perform their party piece, which could be a song, dance or even a magic trick. Only then would they get a well earned treat.
In Ireland they also go in for guising, but the emphasis is more on pranks, and not just on Halloween, but in the week leading up to October 31st. The Irish have always been particularly keen on bonfires on Halloween, whereas the English protestants prefer to wait a few days and celebrate Bonfire night on November the 5th.
In Germany and Austria they celebrate Seleenwoche, this festival lasts from October 30th to November 8th. The theme revolves around leaving out bread and drink for spirits of ancestors returning for the night of Halloween.