Halloween is a time filled with spooky decorations, fun costumes, endless amounts of candy, and all things creepy crawly. It's also the most-celebrated American holiday, but most people don’t know much about the history of Halloween. That's why today, I’ve gathered a few fun facts that have to do with Halloween.
- Halloween originated from an ancient Celtic festival over 2,000 years ago. It was believed that the dead returned to earth on October 31st (the eve of the Celtic New Year). They lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts.
- Ever wonder why black and orange are associated with Halloween? Orange signals the harvest of autumn, while black symbolizes darkness and death.
- Trick-or-treating has been around since medieval times. It was inspired by the English tradition of "souling," which involved children going door-to-door on All Souls Day to offer prayers for deceased loved ones in exchange for food.
- Americans buy enough candy to fill up, not just one, but six Titanic-sized boats.
- Silly string is banned during Halloween in Hollywood as it was pronounced a public safety hazard and environmental threat. If you do decide you want to have it out, it'll come with a hefty fine of $1,000.
- Most of your pumpkin products come from Illinois. They harvest 3-5 times more pumpkins than any other state. Much of their harvest goes into making pumpkin pie filling and other processing uses.
- Irish immigrants actually brought Halloween to the United States as they fled from Ireland during the potato famine in the mid-1800s.
- Jack-o-lanterns were inspired by an Irish legend. The legend tells the story of a man named Stingy Jack who fooled the devil, and in turn, he was forced to walk the Earth with just a lump of burning coal in a hollowed-out turnip to light his way. The Irish called him "Jack of the Lantern."
- Pumpkins are actually a fruit, more specifically, a type of squash.
- Potatoes were the first "pumpkin." In Ireland, where the jack-o’-lantern was created, people used to use vegetables since they were more readily available. Americans are the ones who changed it to pumpkins.
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