Monday, October 31, 2022



Halloween Facts and Trivia


The White House was first decorated for Halloween in 1958.

Mamie Eisenhower decorated the White House for Halloween for the first time. She decked out the State Dining Room in twinkle lights, shocks of dried corn, jack-o'-lanterns and autumnal flower arrangements for a lunch for wives of staff members. Things took a spooky turn outside the dining room, though: Black cats, owls, witch heads and goblins hung from chandeliers in the foyer.

Halloween colours.

In the first few years of the 20th century, there were party guides being published that called yellow and brown Halloween’s colours, thanks to the holiday’s association with the fall harvest. Yellow was for corn/maize and brown was for hay and dried husks.

Orange is in honour of the jack-o’-lantern, which made its way into Halloween culture around 1910. It became “undisputed king of Halloween” because of the jack-o’-lantern’s prominence on postcards and in advertising.

Black likely comes from black cats, although bats contributed to that as well.

Americans spend more than $100 on Halloween.

In 2022, the National Retail Federation estimated that Americans would spend an average of $100 on costumes, candy, decorations and greeting cards — just short of last year's estimate of $103.

Spending is expected to increase across the board, except spending on greeting cards is taking a slight dip this year. It appears that people are going more digital this Halloween.

William Shakespeare wrote the "Song of Witches".

“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble” is from William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” A trio of witches recite the poem as they scheme over a bubbling cauldron and it's been associated with witches ever since.

People used to carve turnips, not pumpkins.

Initially, the Irish and Scottish carved turnips as a way to remember deceased souls. When they immigrated to the U.S., they realised that pumpkins were much easier to carve.

The most popular children’s Halloween costumes in 2022 (in order), according to Google:
"Stranger Things"
Harley Quinn

Halloween was once known as "Black Halloween".

Before costumes and trick-or-treating, Halloween was a night for pranking. The pranks eventually got out of control and in 1933, vandals caused millions of dollars of damage across the U.S., leading many people to refer to it as “Black Halloween.”

Trick-or-treating began in Canada (possibly).

The origins of trick-or-treating are still up for debate. Although some believe trick-or-treating dates back to medieval times, Henry Ansgar Kelly, a research professor specializing in medieval and renaissance studies at UCLA, said it may have started in Canada during the early 1900s as a way to deter pranksters from wreaking havoc.

Halloween isn't Day of the Dead (and vice versa).

While the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is often associated with Halloween, it shouldn't be. The Mexican holiday dates back more than 3,000 years and is a time to honour deceased loved ones. It isn’t associated with costumes, candy and other Halloween traditions.

Halloween generates billions of dollars.

Around $10 billion, to be exact. The most recent survey from the National Retail Federation predicted that Halloween would generate $10.6 billion in 2022, up from 10.14 billion in 2021. Costumes account for most of that, with kids and adult costumes expected to exceed $2.9 billion.

All Saints Day is not All Souls Day

Celebrated on November 1, All Saints Day honours the death of Catholic saints and loved ones. All Souls Day, on November 2, is observed to pray for souls of the faithfully departed that remain trapped in purgatory in hopes they'll be admitted to heaven.

Halloween may have started in 600 A.D.

Many experts believe that Halloween stems from Samhain, a Gaelic festival to celebrate the end of summer. The first known celebrations of Samhain are said to have occurred around 600 A.D., making Halloween more than 3,500 years old.

Retailers made Halloween popular.

From 1909 to the 1940s, the Dennison Manufacturing Co., a paper goods manufacturer located in Framingham, Mass., was one of the leading producers of Halloween costumes, invitations and decorations in the U.S. The rise in available Halloween-related goods spurred the popularity of the holiday.

Trick-or-treating took off in the 1930s.

Lisa Morten, author of “Trick of Treat: The History of Halloween,” said the first official mention of trick-or-treating as a Halloween activity in the U.S. was published in the November 1939 issue of "American Home" magazine.

Europe doesn't celebrate Halloween like the U.S.

Even though Halloween was brought to the U.S. from Irish and Scottish immigrants, the rest of Europe didn’t begin celebrating the holiday until decades later. Although many European countries now celebrate the holiday, it hasn't been quite as commercialized as the U.S.

It wasn't always called "Halloween".

There are several theories about the origin of the word “Halloween.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "Halloween" stems from “All Hallow’s Eve.” However, in 1773, the Scottish began calling it, “Hallow-e’-en.”

Then, a few years later, poet Robert Burns put the words together in the poem titled “Halloween” and we’ve been writing it that way ever since.

Halloween postcards used to be a thing.

From 1905 to 1920, more than 3,000 Halloween postcards were mass-produced. For years, people popped Halloween greetings in the mail until the telephone became the preferred method of communication.

In 2022, the National Retail Foundation said that passing out candy was the most popular way to spend Halloween. Other common ways that people celebrate include:
Decorating their home or yard
Dressing up in costume
Carving pumpkins
Throwing or attending a party

People used to carve other fruits.

U.S. magazines and Halloween guides from the late 1800s offered tips on how to carve apples and cucumbers in addition to jack-o’-lanterns.

Candied apples were a total mistake.

The beloved Halloween treat is said to have been invented by William W. Kolb, a New Jersey confectioner, in 1908. The candy maker supposedly dipped an apple into a cinnamon glaze as an experiment and discovered that patrons loved them.

Rhode Island is home to 6,000 jack-o'-lanterns.

The annual Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular held at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island displays more than 6,000 jack-o’-lanterns during their annual festival. It's one of the largest displays in the country, drawing roughly 115,000 to 140,000 visitors each year.

Black cats get a bum rap.

Black cats are undeservedly associated with bad luck. Their reputation dates way back to the Middle Ages when people considered them a sign of the devil. Hundreds of years later, black cats became the object of fear and scorn after being linked to witches and black magic.

Transylvania is located in the U.S.

If you love vampires and want to visit Transylvania, you need only book a trip to North Carolina. Known as the “Land of Waterfalls,” (not vampires, who knew?), Transylvania County is located in western North Carolina and is home to roughly 34,000 residents. The official Bram Stoker version is in Romania.

Halloween isn't just for kids anymore.

Once upon a time, Halloween was all about kids and while that's still true, adult participation is growing year over year. According to the NRF, roughly 55% of households without children planned to celebrate Halloween in 2021 (up from 49% back in 2020).

Annual spending on adult Halloween costumes was also predicted to be around $1.5 billion.

The most popular Halloween candy is ...

According to research by YouGov, the most popular Halloween candy is M&Ms!

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups come in a close second.

Here is the most popular Halloween candy for adults, ranked:
M&Ms (original)
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup
Kit Kat
Peanut M&Ms
Milky Way
Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar
Reese's Pieces


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.