Since the middle ages, On October 31st, many people celebrate the holiday of Halloween. Here are some interesting Halloween fun facts to tell family and friends at Halloween parties about traditions and the history of Halloween in the US. Halloween has a long history and many of the things that we do today, are based on traditions, customs and popular beliefs.
Trick or Treat
Did you know these Halloween fun facts about trick or treating?
- Two thirds of adults who take kids trick or treating admit to stealing some of the kid’s candy. What’s worse, they eat up to a third of the haul! (OnePoll for Spinbrush)
- Trick or treating originated in medieval Europe. During the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain which took place on October 31, Kids would go door to door begging for food and money. In return, the kids would offer to pray for the souls of the dead.
- In 1952, Walt Disney created a cartoon called ‘Trick or Treat’ featuring Donald Duck and his nephews. The previous year had seen the comic strip, Peanuts, produce three Halloween themed editions. These helped to spread the popularity of Halloween in the United States to a lot of people..
- Trick or treating was minimal during World War II in the United States as sugar rationing meant that there was very little candy to go around. No candy corn that year!
- 73% of children take part in trick or treat activities (safekids.org)
- Pet costumes are becoming more popular with almost a third of US pet owners dressing up their pets. (HalloweenCostumes.com) Of course, black cats need no dressing up!
- The most popular Halloween costumes for kids are Spiderman, Princess and Batman. Dressing as a witch comes in at number 5 closely followed by a ghost (6) and a pumpkin (7) (National Retail Federation). Scary costumes are becoming more popular though, especially with young adults.
- In the United Kingdom, 2,000 tonnes of waste plastic is thrown away each year as Halloween costumes are disposed of. (Fairyland Trust) This figure is thought to be much higher in the US where lots of people buy new costumes each year. I suggest donating your old costumes to a thrift store and looking for a new costume whilst you are there.
- Nearly two thirds of American adults think kids should be allowed to wear Halloween costumes to school. Currently, this is not permitted. (Rasmussen Reports)
- In medieval times, Halloween costumes were designed to ward off evil spirits with the mask serving to disguise the wearer
- In some places including Dublin, Georgia and Illinois, only kids are allowed to wear Halloween masks – they are illegal for adults (theonelawyer.com) What’s more, silly string is banned in Hollywood – by law!
- Over two thirds of US households hand out candy to kids at Halloween and this is the top Halloween activity. Half of households decorate their home or yard and a quarter throw or attend a Halloween party.
- The Village Halloween Parade in New York City is the world’s largest Halloween parade with roughly 50,000 people taking part watched by 2 million spectators. One of the highlights of the parade are the large puppets. There are also around 50 marching bands.
- A full moon only happens on Halloween itself, once in every 19 years.
- The largest pumpkin patch in the US just might be at The Great Pumpkin Farm, Clarence, NY where you can tour over 10 acres of pumpkins during the fall harvest. They even host the World Pumpkin Weigh-off.
Pumpkins and Jack O’Lanterns
- Giant pumpkins grown for competitions can weigh over 2000lbs (the same as a small car)
- Irish immigrants introduced the concept of vegetable carving for Halloween. However, pumpkins are tricky to grow in Ireland. The original Halloween vegetable was, in fact, a turnip as these were plentiful and easily grown.
- The largest ever pumpkin pie weighed 3,699lbs and was 20ft in diameter. It was made from 440 sheets of dough and filled with canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin spice (Guinness World Record)
- The fastest pumpkin carving record stands at 16.47 seconds. In order to be considered complete, the jack o’ lanterns carving had to include a full face including eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
- Teal colored pumpkins indicate that non-food treats are available. This provides a safe way for kids with food allergies to be included in the fun.
- Americans spend $2.6 billion on candy at Halloween (National Retail Federation)
- Halloween ranks second in the most popular holidays when it comes to spending (Christmas is, obviously, number one)
- The average American spends £102.74 on Halloween activities, decorations and candy with 40% shopping at a discount store. (magestore.com)
- Over a quarter of people start shopping for Halloween night in September
- Total spending on Halloween decorations, in North America, is predicted to reach an all-time high of $3.3 billion in 2022
So, at Summer’s end, we look forward to celebrating this witches’ night with family members and telling them these Halloween fun facts.
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