Valentine’s Day may make a claim on chocolate. The Easter Bunny may have cornered the market on Peeps. And Christmas may bring with it “visions of sugarplums” and other sweets aplenty, but no other holiday can compare to one when it comes to the candy connection. Yes, we’re talking about Halloween — every candy craver’s favorite day of the year.
Wondering how Halloween and candy came together? Here’s a closer look at this spooky yet scrumptious tradition, along with one wickedly wonderful way to make your celebration truly otherworldly this year.
A Look Back at Halloween
Halloween dates all the way back to an ancient Celtic tradition which found local villagers lighting bonfires and donning costumes to keep evil spirits at bay during the long cold winter ahead, according to History.com. Called “All Hallows Eve” (AKA “Halloween”), this annual gathering was a precursor to November 1st’s All Saints Day, described by the Catholic Church as “a celebration of the communion of saints, those people we believe are in heaven, through good works and God’s grace.”
Halloween eventually made its way to America (albeit in very limited form due to its heavily Protestant population at the time), where it continued to evolve. Says History.com, “As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups, as well as the American Indians, meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included ‘play parties,’ public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes, dance, and sing.”
It wasn’t until an influx of Irish immigrants arrived in the late 19th century that Halloween began to look like the holiday we know and love today. Continues History.com, “Borrowing from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.”
In subsequent years, the holiday continued to shift from religious to secular while a new focus on community and neighborhood celebrations emerged. Concludes History.com, “At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes.”
According to a report from The Telegraph, meanwhile, it wasn’t until 1927 that the phrase “Trick-or-Treat” appeared in the US.
The Candy Connection
All of which begs the question (not that we’re complaining): Where does candy fit into the mix?
Explains The Atlantic of the link between Halloween and candy, “This seemingly timeless custom is actually a quite recent American invention. The ritual of costumes, doorbell-ringing, and expectation of booty appeared for the first time in different locations throughout the country in the late 1930s and early 1940s. It wasn’t until the late 1940s that trick-or-treating became widespread on a national scale.”
Adds History.com, “When the custom of trick-or-treating started in the 1930s and early 1940s, children were given everything from homemade cookies and pieces of cake to fruit, nuts, coins, and toys. In the 1950s, candy manufacturers began to get in on the act and promote their products for Halloween, and as trick-or-treating became more popular, candy was increasingly regarded as an affordable, convenient offering. It wasn’t until the 1970s, though, that wrapped, factory-made candy was viewed as the only acceptable thing to hand out to all the little ghosts and goblins that showed up on people’s doorsteps.”
In other words, despite the fact that candy is a relative newcomer on the Halloween scene, it’s since become inextricably interwoven with the holiday and its traditions.
Indeed, Americans eat a truly “scary” amount of candy on Halloween, according to USA Today: Four percent of the country’s annual consumption of candy occurs on Halloween, with nearly every child and half of adults getting in on the candy-eating action.
Raising Your Candy Game
Sure, there’s a time and place for candy corn, but these tasty orange and yellow tidbits are just a drop in the (Halloween) bucket when it comes to the breadth and depth of decadent treats just waiting to be discovered.
Those looking for next-level candy this Halloween will find it and much, much more at leading mail order food company FoodyDirect. Whether your goal is to spoil a far-off loved one with an unexpected and unusual Halloween treat delivery or you’re looking to do some indulging of your own after all the petite princesses and pirates are in bed for the night, you’ll find plenty to choose from in FoodyDirect’s carefully cultivated inventory of Halloween-themed delights, including cookies, Halloween Candy Cheesecake, Candy Cupcakes, pies, pretzels and more!
The best part? You don’t have to ring a single doorbell to get your hands on these confections — prepared by the country’s most renowned bakers and artisans. Rather, just order from FoodyDirect and it will show up at your door — giving all new meaning to the concept of Halloween magic. Not to mention — do you really want to waste your candy calories on something ordinary, when the extraordinary is just a click away?