Spooky Halloween Facts

Courtesy of www.Jan-Leasure.com

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year! When else can kids and adults alike let loose, wear strange and scary costumes and decorate their homes with giant spiders? Any other time of year, you would be considered “that family” in the neighborhood!

But how much do you really know about this spooky holiday?

Here are some fun facts with which to delight your friends:

Halloween dates back more than 2,000 years! Nov. 1st was Samhain (SAH-win), which was the day Celtic people celebrated New Year’s Day! The night before Samhain (now Halloween), spirits and demons were said to walk the earth. Celts were said to dress in costumes and walk the streets performing silly acts for food and drink!

Orange & black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.

Jack o’ lanterns originated in … Ireland of all places! People would place candles in hollowed out turnips (not pumpkins) to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.

Christian influence: Samhain later was decreed All Saints Day. The night before, observers would celebrate with bonfires, costumes and parades. European immigrants brought Halloween to the United States. The seasonal celebration exploded in the 1800s with the arrival of Irish immigrants.

What was the first wrapped candy? Tootsie Rolls

Trick-or-treating is believed to be an Irish tradition. In preparation for All Hallow’s Eve, townspeople would visit neighbors and ask for food contributions for the town feast.

Halloween is Oct. 31 – the last day of the Celtic calendar. It actually was a pagan holiday honoring the dead.

Pumpkins originated in Central America, where they were used as a food crop, same as today! Native Americans who found pumpkin crops plentiful often used them in their cooking. Europeans brought the seeds back to Europe and they were a big hit!

Spooky Halloween Expenditures! Halloween spending is predicted to reach $5.77 billion despite the financial crisis. American’s spend $35 million on Halloween greeting cards alone. The average American will spend $24.17 on costumes and $20.39 on candy. How much for dental bills? Ha!

The highest-grossing Halloween movie of all time is ... Jaws! It was released in 1975 by Steven Spielberg and pulled in $842 million at the box office. No. 2 on the list: The Exorcist.

Jan Leasure October 30, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Bonnie Quirke October 31, 2011 at 03:23 PM
In 1835 Pope Gregory the 4th moved the celebration for all the martyrs (later all saints) from May 13th to Nov 1st, the night before becoming known as All Hallow's Eve. Eventually the name was shortened to Halloween. Following All Saints Day on Nov 1st, The Church celebrates All Souls Day on Nov. 2nd. The purpose of these 2 feasts is to remember all those who have died, whether they are officially recognized by the Church as saints or not. These feasts were meant to replace the old pagan Celtic celebration of Samhim, Lord of the Dead, which Celts believed the souls of the dead, including ghosts, goblins and witches, returned to mingle with the living. All the Churches Holy Days, Christmas, Easter, All Hallow's Eve, etc. were meant to replace paganism with Christianity. The word Holiday itself, is a slang for Holy Day.
John Bloss October 31, 2011 at 03:38 PM
Thank you Bonnie; Somewhere in my world I knew this; As a matter of fact I had dinner last night with a close friend from Mexico and she reminded me of just what you relayed above as we remembered those we recently lost. How interesting that this (Halloween) has evolved the way that it has! ;)
Chi-an Chang October 31, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Bonnie, thank you for sharing these interesting facts!
Jan Leasure October 31, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Yes--thank you Bonnie! The history surrounding Halloween is so fascinating. I just returned from a family wedding on the east coast and actually had a small tour of Salem, MA which offered dozens of attractions that were enhanced by every imaginable interpretation of the holiday.


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