“Trick or treat, give me something good to eat.” This simple rhyme is repeated by costumed children every Halloween as a method to receive a sugary treat. Today, Halloween treats are nearly always in the form of some type of candy. It hasn’t always been that way. Halloween treats prior to 1970 included apples and handmade popcorn balls.
Traditional Halloween games have also changed over the years. Halloween party games once included placing an apple on a string with the player trying to catch it with their mouth. Bobbing for apples was another traditional game that is rarely, if ever, played. A wash tub was filled with water, and apples floated in it. The player would place their hands behind their back and try to catch an apple with their mouth. It is said that apple bobbing came from a Roman tradition, where young unmarried people would bob for an apple. The first person to catch an apple would be the next person to marry.
Over time the tricks, treats and costumes have evolved, but one thing remained consistent; Halloween can be is fun for all ages.
—Wendy Petersen Biorn
Executive Director, Carver County Historical Society