Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday celebrated on October 31.

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.

Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.

There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, the color of a pumpkin.

According to folklore, the jack-o-lantern got his name from a man named Jack.

Turnips and beets served as the original jack-o-lanterns. Jack o lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.

Mexico celebrates 'The Day of the Dead' instead of Halloween.

Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for unique monster carvings!

Pumpkins originated in Central America.

When Europeans arrived in the New World, they found pumpkins plentiful and used in cooking by Native Americans. They took seeds back to Europe where they quickly became popular.

Growing big pumpkins is a big time hobby. Top prize money for the biggest giant pumpkin is as much as $25,000 dollars at fall festivals.

A pumpkin is a berry in the cucurbitaceae family, which also includes melons, cucumbers, squash and gourds. All these plants are native to the Americas.

Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first. People spend as much as over $2.5 billion during Halloween on candies, costumes, decorations and parties.

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 .

It is believed that the Irish began the tradition of Trick or Treating. In preparation for All Hallow's Eve, Irish townsfolk would visit neighbors and ask for contributions of food for a feast in the town.

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.

Black cats were once believed to be witch's familiars who protected their powers.

Some people believe that if you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved one watching over you.
The North American common brown bat has the longest life-span of any mammal it's size -- about 32 years!

The movie "Halloween" was filmed in only 21 days in 1978 on a very limited budget. The movie was shot during the spring and used fake autumn leaves. Also, while the film is set in Illinois, all the cars have California license plates.

The tradition of bobbing for apples came from the Romans.

According to superstition, if you stare into a mirror at midnight on Halloween, you will see your future spouse.

According to the National Retail Federation's Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, the most popular Halloween costume in 2004 was Spiderman, with 2.15 million children dressing as their favorite superhero. Other popular costumes included princesses (1.8 million children), witches (1.3 million) and vampires (899,000).

The world's record for biggest pumpkin is currently held by a gigantic gourd weighing a whopping 1,385 pounds!

Vampire bats really do exist, but they are not from Transylvania. They live in Central and South America and feed on the blood of cattle, horses and birds.

Samhainophobia is an intense fear of Halloween.


MUD said...

How about my fear that I would forget your birthday. I will call it OhCrapofobia for forgetting your birthday until I read it on the roneblog. Happy Birthday and many more. MUD

Rebecca said...


Anonymous said...

I love that so much history is associated with your birthday. Your mother did us all a favor by having you on Oct. 31st. Then came Bob on April 1. I guess Kim was an afterthought and she could'nt pick a holiday. Happy birthday and I love you.
Aunt Sue

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday!

OhCrapaphobia just made me laugh!

And I saw a spider today. :)

Anonymous said...

HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!! sb

Anonymous said...

HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!! sb

Cindy said...

Well, all that trivia just made my head hurt. Loved the OhCrapaphobia - gonna use that! Happy Halloween Birthday!