Are you aware of the unique facts about Halloween? We all know that Halloween is a time for spooky haunted houses, sugar-coated chocolate candies, and creative costumes. But, how did it really become like that, you may ask? And why do kids run around their neighborhoods asking for tricks or treats? Follow on below for some historically interesting facts about how Halloween became the holiday it is today:
Dance for Your Goodies
Nowadays kids in costumes go door-to-door and ask for candy. A simple task to most. Before, you really had to earn your candy bars by performing a choreographed type of dance where there was accompanying music and songs in exchange for treats and money. Huffington Post adds that, “Most of these early trick-or-treaters were poor and actually needed the money, but wealthy children also joined in the fun.”
Alternative Names for Halloween
Surprisingly, Halloween was not the only name to be utilized. Halloween has a plethora of other names associated with it–including Witches Night, All Hallows Eve, Lamswool, Snap-Apple Night, and Summer’s End. These names make you think about nighttime and the fact that summer is officially over and Fall has made its entrance.
Candy Corn is #1
It’s no surprise that Halloween is the time to consume lots of sweets and treats. Over 20 million pounds of candy corn is regularly sold during Halloween! Why, you may ask? Well, probably because it is so easy to make. It consists of only 3 ingredients: corn syrup, sugar, and water. It’s the simplicity that makes it so appealing across the country, which has basically become a staple distributor for Halloween. With its sweet and soft taste and texture, respectively, you can count on candy corn to satisfy your sweet tooth this Halloween.
Before Pumpkins, There was the Turnip
Halloween and carved pumpkins go hand in hand. However, there is an Irish folklore during the 1800’s that might say otherwise. Did you know that the origin of Jack-O-Lanterns came from a farmer named Stingy Jack who would always play tricks on the devil? The devil was not pleased so he doomed Jack to roam the Earth in purgatory with a single piece of burning coal from hell. Jack found a turnip and in it he placed his coal. Jack used this lantern (hence “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack o’ Lantern) to light and guide his lost soul. With Irish families leaving Ireland to go to America because of the potato famine, the myth came along, too. In America, turnips were scarce so pumpkins were used. Ever since, people carve pumpkins to scare away Jack or other evil spirits and ghouls.
Halloween Wasn’t All About Sugar
Nowadays, Halloween has been popularized by sugar and consuming what seems to be an endless amount of candy. Originally, trick-or-treaters received something other than money, candies and chocolates. They were given nuts and fruits. It was a fairly healthy alternative to today’s obsession with all things sweet and artificial.
You know about all the Halloween symbols that represent all sorts of spookiness like spiders, bats, and black cats. Did you know that during the Middle Ages, these dark symbols are what the witches supposedly used when creating bad luck in their spells?
Trick-or-Treating Goes Back to Medieval Times
Where did trick-or-treating come from? Going back to medieval times, “guising” or “souling” was what trick-or-treating was called. Children and poor adults dressed in costumes during Hallowmas and begged for food or money. In exchange, these children and adults offered songs or prayers. So, the next time you knock on someone’s door to ask for candy, remind yourself that trick-or-treating is actually a very old tradition.
World War II Almost Ended Trick-or-Treating
Trick-or-treating was somewhat popular before World War II. However, because of sugar rationing during World War II, the tradition died. In 1947, says Business Insider, once rationing ended, some children’s magazines, radio programs, and even the “Peanuts” comic strip reintroduced the trick-or-treating phenomenon so that kids would be encouraged to start dressing up in costumes again and running for from door-to-door asking for candied goodies. Business Insider adds that, “By 1952, trick-or-treating was hugely popular again.”
Halloween vs. Christmas
Aside from Christmas, which is the most American commercial holiday, Halloween is spookily sneaking its way to becoming the second most commercial holiday in America. History.com suggests that, “Americans spend an estimated $6 billion on Halloween annually, including candy, costumes, and decorations.” Don’t forget about the candy industry, which makes over 90 million pounds of chocolate! That’s a sugary mouthful to say the least.
There you have it, some fun and fitting facts about Halloween. Now get ready to dress up, eat up, and scare down some fellow trick-or-treaters. Happy and safe Halloweening!