ORIGINS OF HALLOWEEN
According to historian Nicholas Rogers, some folklorists have detected Halloween's origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia.
But Halloween is more typically linked to the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain, a word derived from Old Irish roughly meaning "summer's end."
HOW TRICK-OR-TREATING STARTED
Aside from the costumes originally meant to scare away the spirits in search of bodies to possess, this tradition is believed to have originated from English All Souls' Day parades, during which the poor begged for food and received pastries called "soul cakes."
In return, the poor prayed for the giver's dead relatives. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in Limbo after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.