Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Few Worthless but Interesting Facts About Halloween

Halloween seems to become a bigger holiday every year. When I was a kid we trick or treated around the neighborhood, collecting goodies that took weeks to finish eating (I am sure my parents threw out a lot of stuff surreptitously), and that was it.

Nowadays people decorate their homes inside and out. Adults celebrate, throw parties and dress in costumes. Children's costumes have become worthy of Academy Awards for their originality, intricacy, design and cost. Halloween is a commercial success, ranking number two in holiday sales; Christmas is number one.

Our house is Halloween-deprived by choice. I do not decorate inside or out. I do not bake cupcakes with orange and black frosting or prepare any other calorie-laden sweets. I would love to use the holiday as an excuse to eat Entenmann's doughnuts, Hershey kisses and other chocolate favorites, but I do not. I will buy some candy for any small neighborhood creatures that happen to knock on our door Monday evening. Any candy remaining Tuesday morning will be donated to a needy neighbor.

I am celebrating the holiday with some meaningless trivia. Enjoy!

Here are a few Halloween fun facts:

* Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange represents the fall harvest and black signifies darkness and death.

* Halloween is celebrated on the last day of the Celtic calendar - October 31st.

* Pumpkins are native to Central America and for the indigenous population pumpkins were a source of food. Most of us are familiar only with orange pumpkins; there are also green, yellow, red, white and blue pumpkins.

* No one is sure where trick or treating began, but legend claims the custom originated in Ireland. People went house to house visiting neighbors, asking for food contributions for a town feast being prepared in celebration of All Hallow's Eve.

* Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.

* The first city-wide Halloween celebration took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921.

* The most popular Halloween candy (in the U.S.) is chocolate candy bars followed close behind by Snickers bars.

* Halloween is the number one candy-selling holiday; candy sales average $2 billion annually.

* 90% of adults with trick-or-treating children admit to sneaking candy from their kids' goodie bag.

* Not everyone is enthralled with Halloween. Some individuals have an acute fear of the holiday. This phobia is called Samhainophobia. The phobia takes its name from Samhain, a pagan festival. It was believed the dead walked the earth one day each year on Samhain. The pagan holiday morphed into Halloween over the course of centuries.

Check out the following links for Halloween trivia, quizzes and other holiday legends and traditions:


  1. No decorations in or out at our house either although we sometimes go to the Halloween parade--but probably for the last time last year. It was way too crowded and the kids scrambling for candy was just out of hand.

  2. It comes from older traditions, which I like.

    I watch with interest the adults who dress up for Halloween, and the ones who don't. I'm not much into the holiday now that my kids are grown and my grandkids live elsewhere. But I do have candy waiting for the dozen kids who may show up. And I am wearing a Groucho Marx mask just in case. Still, I'll be glad when it's tomorrow.