Halloween conjures up images of small people dressed as ghosts and goblins traveling from house to house in search of candy.
The tradition of trick-or-treating was actually brought to America in the 1840's by Irish immigrants escaping the Great Potato Famine. On Halloween, Irish peasants begged the wealthy for food and played tricks on those who refused them. To avoid being tricked, the wealthy handed out treats - a practice that is now our present day trick-or-treating.
The Irish can also be credited with Jack-o-lanterns. An old Irish tale tells of a man named Stingy Jack. He was unable to enter heaven due to his stingy ways and wandered the world looking for a resting place. On his journey, Jack used a piece of burning coal in a hallowed out turnip - our modern day jack-o-lantern. The turnip carving turned into pumpkin carving when the Irish tradition reached America.
Who knew the Irish played such a significant role in our current day traditions. Today, Halloween has become a tradition enjoyed by young and old, no matter your nationality. Happy Halloween!