October 31 is Halloween. This fun holiday has ancient origins and is one of the oldest holidays on the planet. You know it’s spooky, creepy, and full of candy, but here are 7 things you might not have known about Halloween.
The Holiday Goes Back More Than 2,000 Years Halloween all started as a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain (which means "summer's end") held around the first of November. It celebrated the final day of the harvest and the crossing of spirits over into the other world. People in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Northern France would ward off ghosts by lighting sacrificial bonfires, and, you guessed it, wearing costumes, according to History.com.
The First Jack-o-Lanterns Were Not Made From Pumpkins Back thousands of years ago in the Celtic lands, simple lanterns were carved out of turnip. These lanterns were sometimes adorned with frightful and spooky faces, which were thought to scare away evil spirits that might be out and about on All Hallows Eve.
Halloween is Big Business. Second only to Christmas, Halloween is the biggest grossing holiday of the year when it comes to shelling out the shekels. Approximately 8 billion dollars will be spent this Halloween, with over 2.6 billion dollars being spent on Halloween costumes alone and plenty more being shelled out for trick or treat candy. 330 million bucks will be spent just on pet costumes!
Skittles Are The Top Halloween Candy The bite-sized candies outranked M&M's, Snickers, and Reese's Cups, according to 11 years of sales data from CandyStore.com. And even though candy corn also made the top 10, the tricolored treats also ranked among the worst Halloween candies, according to a CandyStore.com survey.
Illinois Produces Five Times More Pumpkins Than Any Other State The Land of Lincoln has more than 15,000 acres devoted to gourd growing, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Those Illinois farms typically grow more than 500 million pounds of pumpkins annually.
The Most Popular Halloween Costume is The Witch Come Halloween night, there will be over 6 million witches running around! Pop culture favorites come and go as trendy Halloween costume choices every year, but the Witch still reigns supreme and continues to hold her spot as numero uno. Other classic costume choices round out the top ranks, including vampires, pirates, zombies, cats, princesses and superheroes.
Candy Corn Was Originally Called "Chicken Feed" The Goelitz Confectionery Company sold boxes with a rooster on the front in order to appeal to America's agricultural roots, according to National Geographic. The sugary recipe has gone largely unchanged since the 1880s.