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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Unusual | Interesting Facts About HALLOWEEN!

interesting unusual facts about Halloween pic.Halloween began as the ancient Celtic New Year, known as Samhain, thousands of years ago. The holiday fell on the first of November, and marked the end to the revered “season of the sun.” It was during this time that the ancient Celts believed that the veil between the spirit world and the mortal world was thinnest, and therefore performed rituals to honor the dead, keep evil spirits at bay, and to ensure that the sun could come back in the spring. On the eve of Samhain, October 31st, Celtic villagers would extinguish the fires in their hearths, and all would meet near the local.

The modern name, Halloween comes from "All Hallows' Evening," or in their slang "All Hallow's Even", the eve of All Hallows' Day. "Hallow" is an Old English word for "holy person," and All Hallows' Day is just another name for All Saints' Day, eventually, it became abbreviated to "Hallowe'en" and then "Halloween."

- Halloween, referred to as All Hallows Eve, was originally a pagan holiday in which they honored the dead. It was celebrated on October 31 since this was the last day of the Celtic calendar. The celebration dates back some 2,000 years.
- The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts wondered the streets on all Hallows Eve so they began wearing masks and costumes in order to not be recognized as human.
- The jack-o-lantern tradition comes from an old Irish folk tale about a man named Stingy Jack. It was said that he was unable to get into heaven and was turned away from the devil because of his tricky ways. So he set off to wander the world looking for a resting place. For light, Stingy Jack used a burning coal ember in a hollowed out turnip. When the Irish immigrated to the U.S. during the Great Potato Famine of 1845-1850, they found that turnips were not as readily available like they were in the homeland. So they started carving pumpkins as a replacement for their tradition.
- On Halloween, Irish peasants would beg the rich for food. For those that refused, they would play a practical joke. So, in an effort to avoid being tricked, the rich would hand out cookies, candy, and fruit – a practice that morphed into trick-or-treating today.
- Of all the candy sold annually, one quarter of it is sold during Halloween time (September – November 10) making it the sweetest holiday of the year.
- Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America
- The number one candy of choice for Halloween is Snickers
- There are an estimated 106 million potential treat-or-treat stops (i.e., housing units occupied year-round, per the U.S. Census)
- Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday, beat out only by Christmas
- The U.S. consumer spends upwards of $1.5 billion on Halloween costumes annually and more than $2.5 billion on other Halloween paraphernalia, such as decorations, crafts, etc. More than $100,000 of that is said to be spent online
- Candy sales in the U.S. for Halloween average $2 billion annually
- Halloween is the third biggest party day of the year behind New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday, respectively
- 86% of Americans decorate their homes at Halloween
- Halloween is the 8th largest card sending holiday. The first Halloween greeting is dated back to early 1900 and today consumers spend around $50 million dollars on Halloween cards each year.
- Of the pumpkins marketed domestically, 99% of them are used as Jack-o-lanterns at Halloween
- Approximately 82% of children and 67% of adults take part in Halloween festivities every year
- The official Orange and Black colors of Halloween came from orange being associated with fall harvest and black symbolizing darkness and death.
- There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with “orange”
- In the movie “Halloween” the mask worn by Michael Meyers is actually the mask of William Shatner painted white
- Magician, Harry Houdini died on Halloween, 1926 in Detroit, MI.
- It is during the Halloween festivity that about 99% of pumpkins that are marketed domestically, are utilized for the purpose of making Jack O'Lanterns for the Halloween party.
- In America, Halloween is celebrated on a large scale and about 86% of Americans get actively engrossed in the task of doing haunted house Halloween decorations.
It is interesting to know that there is no word in the dictionary that is in rhyme with orange.
- People give the credit of starting the tradition of Trick or Treating to Irish people.
- Jerry Ayers of Baltimore was the one to make a world record of fastest pumpkin carving, by carving out a pumpkin in just 37 seconds.
- Vampires don’t really participate in the night Halloween party celebrations, because they consider Halloween to be tacky.
- People are of the belief that light keeps the monsters away. Thus they prefer lighting a pumpkin lantern with a candle on the Halloween night.
Pumpkins can also be spotted in the colors of white, blue and green.
- Orange and 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 where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
- Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for unique monster carvings!
- Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
- Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
- The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
- Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
- Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.
- Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
- Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.
- Black cats were once believed to be witch's familiars who protected their powers.
- A majority of us, 48 percent, believe in ghosts.
- Twenty-two percent of Americans say they’ve seen or felt a ghost.
- Women are more likely to say they believe in ghosts than are men.
- More than half of younger Americans aged 18 to 45 believe in ghosts.
- A whopping 78 percent of us believe in life after death.
- Jerry Ayers of Baltimore, Ohio has the record for the fastest pumpkin carver at 37 seconds
- More than 93% of children, under the age of 12, will go out trick-or-treating
- About 50% of adults dress up for Halloween, while 67% take part in the activities, such as parties, decorating the house and trick-or-treating with their children
- 86% of Americans decorate their house for Halloween
- Halloween candy sales average about $2 billion annually in the United States. It is the largest candy-purchasing holiday, bigger than Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day!
- The first Halloween card was made in the early 1920's. These days, over 28 million Halloween cards are sent each year. U.S. consumers spend about $50 million on Halloween greetings
- Over $1.5 billion is spent on costumes each year and more than $2.5 billion on other Halloween paraphernalia
- About 99% of pumpkins that are marketed domestically are turned into jack-o-lanterns
- The biggest pumpkin in the world tipped the scales at a whopping 1,446 pounds. This gigantic gourd was weighed in October 2004 at a pumpkin festival in Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada.
- More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces - enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if laid end-to-end.
- Halloween was born. The first Halloween celebration in America took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921.