Beggars’ Night: What Is It?
Tomorrow is Halloween, which many children will be dressing up to go door to door collecting candy. However, did you know today is Beggars’ night, and some children will be trick or treating tonight, instead of tomorrow night? What is Beggars’ night you ask?
It turns out that Beggars’ Night is a regional term, commonly used in Ohio, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and western New York, for tick or treating, and it usually takes place the evening before Halloween. Younger kids trick or treat on Beggars’ night so that they don’t get mixed up with the older kids and their hooliganism on Halloween night. The reasoning behind younger children trick or treating the night before Halloween was that it would create a safer environment.
On Beggars’ Night, kids are encouraged to tell jokes when they come to your door. This tradition started in Des Moines, Iowa during the depression era. In Washington, DC, and the immediate suburbs in the 1950’s, Beggars’ Night was on October 30 and that was the night for dressing up in costumes and going door-to-door for trick or treat. Halloween was the night when some schools held costume parties for kids.
So whether you are out tonight, or tomorrow night, have a safe and happy Halloween!