1. The history of Halloween began in ancient times with the Celts living on the British Isles. The Pagan calendar had October 31st as the last day of the year called Samhain. Celtic priests honored their god of death, known as Samhain, on the night of the 31st. The Celtic people believed that the spirits of the dead rose on that night and so they wore costumes to scare them away.
2. After the Roman Empire gained control of the British Isles Samhain also became a harvest festival honoring the goddess Pomona, the goddess of fruits and gardens. Apples were considered sacred at this time and this is where the tradition of bobbing for apples comes from.
3. The colors black and orange are widely associated with Halloween. Orange represents the Fall harvest and black represents death.
4. After the rise of Christianity the first day of November was known as All Saints Day which was originally called All Hallows Day. That made October 31st All Hallows Eve. That is how Halloween got its name.
5. Trick or Treating is also credited to the Irish people. They would go door to door gathering food contributions for the Halloween feast held in town. If the people refused then the “trick or treaters” would play a practical joke on them.
6. Jack-o-lanterns began as a method to scare away ghosts. Many people believed the lights would frighten away spirits. Today 99% of America’s pumpkins are used for Jack-o-lanterns.
7. In modern times Halloween is the second most commercially popular holiday (Christmas is the first) Over 1.5 billon dollars is spent on costumes each year and more than 2.5 billion is spent on other Halloween paraphernalia.
8. In the United States the first citywide Halloween celebration was held in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921. It is believed that the reason the townspeople decided to put on this celebration was to divert its youngsters from committing Halloween pranks.
9. Of all the candy sold annually in America, 1/4 of it is sold during Halloween time. The number one candy choice for Halloween is Snickers. America spends 2 billion dollars a year on Halloween candy.
10. The current world record for the biggest pumpkin is 1446 lbs. (That’s a lot of pumpkin pie!) Growing large pumpkins is a serious hobby with prize money as much as $25,000 at some fall festivals.