While I myself don’t usually do anything for Halloween (I have never gone traditionally Trick-or-Treating, and have only dressed up a handful of times) I do enjoy a good bucket of candy and a masterful decorator. Decorations are one of the main reasons that I adore the Holiday season. October through December is so fun because people decorate like crazy.
So we all know how Halloween is celebrated today: If you’re a kid, you dress up and go trick-or-treating in your neighborhood. If you’re an adult who likes to party, you’ll find some shindig where costumes range from the clever to the outrageously sexual and the drinks all have clever Halloween-y names. If you’re religious, you’ve probably been Trunk-or-Treating in your Church parking lot. Or you may stay in, watch “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and hand out candy to kids doing the aforementioned Trick-or-Treating. But where did it all begin, you ask?
I did extensive research for you guys (really, I had to scour Wikipedia and everything) to find out.
Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is the night before the Christian Feast of All Hallows Day, which serves to remember saints, martyrs, and the faithful dead (not the band). The popularity of consuming apples, apple cider, potato pancakes, etc. during this time is due to the encouragement of abstaining from eating meat on All Hallows’ Eve. However, many scholars believe that this feast was influenced by Celtic Harvest festivals (notably, the pagan Samhain). Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Due to the superstitious nature of the people, Samhain is deeply connected with souls of the dead – they were even invited to the feasts, with places set for them. It was believed that spirits and faeries could enter our world more easily at this time. The Irish had their own form of trick-or-treating even, where people would dress up and go door to door, reciting verses in exchange for food!
That’s just the basic, beginning information, and there is so much more to this holiday. There’s plenty of Irish mythology to wade through, and it is certainly interesting to see how Halloween has grown and evolved over the years.
Now for some crazy Halloween Statistics (USA)!
Number of Trick-or-Treaters in 2013: 41.2 million
Pumpkin Production: 1.1 billion pounds
Number of Costume stores: 1, 719
Chocolate Production Factories (plants?): 1, 177 – ship $13.6 billion worth of goods!
Non-Chocolate: 409 – ship $7.6 billion worth of goods
Candy Consumed (per capita): 24.7 pounds
The best cities to spend Halloween in:
Transylvania County, NC
Pumpkin Center, NC
Cape Fear, NC
Skull Creek, NE
Most Popular Adult Costume: Witch
Most Popular Child Costume: Princess
Most Popular Pet Costume: Pumpkin
I have never dressed up as a Witch, Princess, or a Pumpkin. And as someone who doesn’t love chocolate, I am all about the Fun Dip. Halloween is just about the only time, if then, I ever get Fun Dip anymore. Sigh.
I will leave you with this very fun video (Light Show set to “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas) of someone who most likely either works at Disney World or should work there: