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Trick or treat in translation

As I sit here, scarfing down tiny packages of Twizzlers and Hershey’s bars in between trick-or-treaters, I ponder two things: 1) Have Halloween-sized treats shrunk since I was a kid, or did I get bigger? 2) Why are my Montréal trick-or-treaters so… well… quiet?

I live in the east end of Montréal, so my trick-or-treaters are all Francophone (and a few Spanish speakers, too!). Coming from BC, I’m used to English trick-or-treaters, who basically scream “TRICK OR TREAT” as soon as you open the door. I was very confused my first Halloween here, when I would open the door to… silence. Sometimes there’s a “Joyeuse Halloween,” and a Transformer went straight to the point tonight and said, “Donne-moi des bonbons!” But the majority of trick-or-treaters here wait for me to break the ice. There seems to be no tradition of yelling “trick or treat!” There seems to be a tradition of holding out a bag and blinking! So is this the norm, or are the kids in my neighbourhood just shy?

When I was young we'd either say "Halloween apple!" (which makes no sense in French, but I suppose is easier to say by Francophones) or "Joyeuse Halloween". That may be a Hull-Aylmer thing only, though.

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