Along with adults making good use of the opportunity to appear in public in drag - sometimes under the cover of "it's all in fun, it's Halloween!", sometimes not (wink, wink) - children of all ages dress up as pirates, mummies, vampires, princesses, super heroes and the likes, and race from house to house in their neighborhoods, knocking on doors and crying out "Trick or treat!" when the owner opens it. They then hold out their bags, pillow cases or festive plastic buckets and wait for whatever treat(s) they may receive; sweets, 99% of the time here nowadays.
When I was a child (back in the Paleozoic era) you were likely to receive a small, flat paper bag about the size of a letter envelope with maybe a home-baked cookie or a small variety of edibles, or perhaps an apple or some such thing. Today, with the too-often valid hysteria over things that may have been tampered with (by people who's heads want seeing to) anything that isn't factory sealed is viewed as suspect and tossed out by vigilant parents when the kids get back home with their bounty.
For a few years a group of city councilmen in my area sponsored the distribution of flexible plastic necklaces that glowed in the dark for about six hours when you broke a capsule inside of them. It was a safety measure, since children aren't as safety conscious while dashing from house to house, across neighborhood streets. When budgets tightened, they stopped it; leaving those of us who felt that five kilos of candy each was plenty for any child to fend for ourselves.
The photo up top today is a night shot I took in 2007 of some kids leaving the front porch of a home where they'd received the necklaces, and you can see traces of them in the lower half of the photo.
In February 2008 I took 200 of those necklaces left over from Halloween 2007 over to Thailand with me, and had great fun walking through the club area of Bangkok and Pattaya, handing them out to the touts, dancers and workers in the clubs I'd visit.
At one smaller club in Pattaya - now closed - I handed out two or three to everybody there, and it was great fun to sit and watch them mix and match them, creating headdresses, belts, bracelets and all sorts of combinations back and forth between them. It certainly broke the boring routine for them, and the fun we shared that evening because of them is something I'll always remember. Two of those guys became friends, and theirs was the room I visited in "Where The Wild Boys Live" back on 23 March.
I did that again a few more times, and while I can't say with any certainty that it's what started the "Glow Nights" at a couple of clubs there (such as the Krazy Dragon), it may well have planted the seed of an idea. I like to think so, anyway - and now you know, too.