Trick-or-Treat! Yep, it’s that time of year again. Halloween has been around for centuries, spawning a variety of facts and traditions – some eerie, some scary and some just plain interesting. If you’ve ever wondered about Halloween history, read below to learn some spell-binding tales that will surely help to usher in the Halloween spirit as the holiday approaches.
- The ancient Celtics participated in trick-or-treating, but it looked a lot different back then. Trick-or-treating started when ancient Celtics would leave “treats” and food outside their homes to soothe spirits who wandered around the streets during Samhain, a Gaelic festival that marks the end of the harvesting season. Legend has it that Samhain was also a time when the veil or walls between the living and the dead became thin.
- The Celtics also began the popular tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween. Why, you might ask? Well, the Celtics would wear costumes or masks during the Samhain festival to ward off evil spirits that would pass through the veil.
- Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween. Some people have a clinically-diagnosed phobia towards Halloween and will go to any length to avoid it. (Tweet This)
- It’s exceptionally uncommon to see a full moon on Halloween. The full moon is usually used to create a scary ambience in horror movies, and werewolves, vampires and lunar-related monsters are often associated with Halloween. But full moons don’t occur on the holiday as often as you’d think – in fact, we’re going to have to wait until 2020 – another 6 years – to see a full moon on Halloween. You might think, “oh, that’s not so bad,” but the last full moon on Halloween was recorded in 2001 and the full moon prior to that was in 1955.
- According to Guinness World Records the fastest a pumpkin was ever carved is 16.47 seconds. This record was set by Stephen Clarke of New York on October 31, 2013. For a jack-o’-lantern to qualify as fully carved, it must have a “full face,” which includes ears, eyes, a nose and a mouth. (Tweet This)
- The heaviest pumpkin is recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records to have weighed 2,624.6 pounds. It was grown by Mathias Willemijns and authenticated by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth (GPC) in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
- Halloween decorations are usually orange and black, but why? The color orange symbolizes the fall harvest and the color black is linked to darkness and death.
- Daylight Savings Time was supposedly influenced by Halloween and the candy industry. According to NPR, one of the proponents for extending Daylight Savings Time was the candy industry, which was of the opinion that the extra hour of trick-or-treating would result in greater candy sales. But the decision to delay the change in Daylight Savings Time to early November wasn’t all about candy; some studies show that children are more likely to get hurt by a car on Halloween compared to any other day in the year, influencing Congress’ decision to pass the Halloween Safety Act of 2004.
- Candy corn has had the same recipe since the 1900s. This popular treat has been around for more than 100 years. Because of its close association with the holiday, its popularity skyrockets this time of year – in fact, National Candy Corn Day is on October 30th, the day before Halloween.
- Harry Houdini died on Halloween. For a magician who became the world’s greatest escape artist, the timing of his death was eerie, to say the least. Houdini died as a result of an appendicitis attack triggered by being punched in the stomach three times. (Tweet This)
Happy Halloween! Do you have any interesting myths, trivia or facts about the holiday?