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Americans Spend About $3.8 Billion On Halloween Candy Every Year.

National Trick or Treat Day on the last Saturday in October extends one of the country’s favorite holidays – Halloween!

  • The tradition goes back 2,000 years.  The roots of trick-or-treating go back more than 2,000 years to the Ancient Celts. They celebrated a pagan festival called Samhain on November 1 that marked the end of the harvest season. The night before, they believed the dead returned as ghosts, so they left food and wine on their doorsteps to appease them.
  • In the 8th century, the Christian church replaced Sahmain with All Saints Day, a.k.a., All Hallows. The night before — October 31 — came to be known as All Hallow’s Eve, which then, of course, became Halloween.
  • Back in the day, revelers couldn’t just show up on a doorstep and demand candy; they had to entertain for it. In Middle Ages Britain, kids who were mostly poor went door-to-door dressed in disguise on All Hallow’s Eve, singing, dancing, telling jokes and reciting poetry in exchange for food, wine and money. Irish and Scottish immigrants revived the tradition in 19th century America, turning it more or less into the trick-or-treating we know now.
  • Americans spend about $3.8 billion on Halloween candy every year.
  • The Haunted House Association estimates that the U.S. is home to about 1,200 seasonal haunted attractions that pull in up to $500 million a year.
  • Turns out, proprietors have ancient Egyptians to thank. To keep tomb raiders away from bodies and treasures, Egyptians often built moving walls, mazes and traps filled with snakes within their pyramids.
  • That, combined with the ancient Greeks’ and Romans’ penchant for mazes and monsters, along with morality plays from early Christians looking to frighten people into converting, add up to you paying to get chased by a chainsaw-wielding bogey monster on a crisp Friday night.
  • 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced in the U.S. each year.
  • Ghost costumes started as a disguise. Back in the days of the Celtic festival Samhain, people dressed as ghosts when they went outside on October 31, hoping to either calm the spirits that were said to roam that day, or to blend in with them.
  • Mamie Eisenhower brought Halloween to the White House in 1958.
  • Humans spend about $3.4 billion a year on Halloween costumes for themselves. If that seems crazy, consider the fact that they spend an additional $370 million dressing up their pets!
  • Chocolate makes up about three-quarters of a trick-or-treater’s loot, according to the National Confectioners Association.
  • Candy corn has been made with the same recipe by the Jelly Belly Candy Company since around 1900.
  • One Candy Corn serving (about 30 pieces) has 140 calories, the equivalent of three miniature Hershey bars.
  • Although it is unknown precisely where and when the phrase “trick or treat” was coined, the custom had been firmly established in American popular culture by 1951, when trick-or-treating was depicted in the Peanuts comic strip.
  • In 1952, Disney produced a cartoon called “Trick or Treat” featuring Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.
  • On this night, which commemorates the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot (Guy Fawkes) in 1605, British children wore masks and carry effigies while begging for pennies.
  • Some Halloween rituals used to involve finding a husband.  During the 18th century, ladies would follow Halloween traditions that would “help” them find a romantic match. According to History.com, women would:
    • Throw apple peels over their shoulder hoping to see their future husband’s initials,
    • competitively bob for apples at parties because the winner would be the first to get married,
    • stand in a dark room with a candle in front of a mirror to look for their future husband’s face.
  • Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the country.  It comes after only Christmas.
  • 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.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Red Book Mag

Faith Based Events

Real Simple

History