Ah, Halloween. The time of the year when we purposefully try to scare ourselves silly and stock up on a year’s supply of candy with the after-the-holiday sale. In honor of all the sugary goodness, here’s your Halloween edition of Fun Facts with Hamilton!
It started with the Celts
Halloween originated in ancient Ireland. Way back in the day, over 2,000 years ago, the Celtic people celebrated the end of harvest with a festival called Samhain on October 31. Believing the dead came back to roam the earth during the festival, the Celtics lit bonfires and wore costumes to scare away evil spirits.
Later, trying to spread Christianity during the eighth century, Pope Gregory III named November 1 All Saint’s Day or All Hallows and included some of Samhain’s traditions. Thus, October 31 became known as All Hallows’ Eve. Traditions from other religious holidays, such as All Souls’ Day, when children went “souling” door to door, offering prayers in exchange for food, were added later.
Jack-o-lanterns have a somewhat eerie beginning. Legend has it that Jack made a stingy deal with the devil, which went sour. Consequently, when Stingy Jack died, his spirit was forced to roam the earth with only a lighted piece of coal and a carved-out turnip lantern to light his way.
Let’s Talk Candy
The top eight candies of Halloween are:
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Kit Kats
- Sour Patch Kids
No one wants to be the house with the wrong candy, right? The votes are in, and the least favorite Halloween candies are:
- Candy Corn
- Wax Coke Bottles
- Neco Wafers
- Tootsie Rolls
- Peanut Butter Hershey Kisses
As a side note, candy corn may be one of the least liked candies of all time, but it is also one of the most highly produced. For example, Jelly Belly Candy Company makes over 35 million pounds of candy corn every year!
Spookiest Haunted House
Not everyone loves a haunted house, but if you do, the spookiest one out there is the Haunted Cave in Lewisburg, Ohio. Located in an abandoned mine, 80 ft below ground, the haunted cave is over 3,564 ft. long and is home to over 30,000 bats.
Second Only To –
Halloween is the second-largest commercial holiday in the U.S., with Christmas coming in first. America spent 9 billion dollars on Halloween in 2019. In 2020, the number dropped slightly to 8 billion dollars. That’s an average of $92 per person!
That’s a Lot of Pumpkins, Pumpkin’
Pumpkins don’t just serve as jack-o-lanterns. They’re pretty much a staple of the entire autumn season. Illinois is a mega pumpkin provider for the United States –with over 15,000 acres devoted to growing pumpkins, they provide us with over 5000 million pounds of pumpkins! Pennsylvania, Indiana, Texas, and California are also key pumpkin producers.
I’m not a Witch
Or am I? It turns out the most popular adult Halloween costume is indeed the witch. Other popular adult costumes are Batman, vampires, cats, and ghosts. Kids lean towards their favorite superheroes, princesses, and villains, with Mulan, Black Panther, and Thanos trending in 2020.
We love holidays here at Hamilton Connections —it gives us another reason to celebrate. Enjoy your time with family and friends. Happy Trick-or-Treating!