- The tradition of Halloween goes back over 2000 years! The origins of Halloween can be traced back to an old Celtic fall festival called Samhain (pronounced “sho-win”). People would dress up in costumes and gather around a bonfire to ward off spirits.
- Trick-or-treating actually has roots back to medieval times. The practice of “guising” originated in Scotland and Ireland. Young people dressed up in costumes and asked for food and money in exchange for songs, poems or other “tricks.”
- U.S. consumers have made Halloween the 2nd largest commercial holiday in the country. According to the National Retail Foundation, American consumers spent $9 billion on Halloween in 2019! The average American spend $86.27 on Halloween.
- Jack-o-lanters originated in Ireland and were carved out of turnips, potatoes, and beets. As the story goes, an Irish man named Stingy Jack tricked the devil and was not allowed into the afterlife, and was therefore forced to roam the earth with his carved turnip lantern and called himself “Jack of the Lantern.” Americans actually popularized carving pumpkins.
- Illinois produces roughly 5 times as many pumpkins as any other state in the US. New York City throws the biggest Halloween parade in the United States. The fastest person to carve a jack-o-lantern (consisting of a complete face of eyes, nose, mouth and ears) was 16.47 seconds! And last but not least, Keene, NH holds the record for most jack-o-lanterns on display with 30,581 lit up pumpkins around town!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this little trivia session, but now we’ve got to get back to bobbing for apples! Happy Halloween from Jackie, Mark, Mark and Ben at the Pinhook Flats office!