10 Fun Facts About Halloween by Roxanne Rhoads

1.       In 2017 American consumers spent approximately $9.1 billion on Halloween, up from $8.4 billion in 2016.

2.       Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.

3.       Halloween or Hallowe’en is short for Hallows’ Eve or Hallows’ Evening, which originated as the evening before All Hallows’ Day or Hallowmas on November 1. In an effort to convert pagans, the Christian church decided that Hallowmas or All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2) should assimilate sacred pagan holidays that fell on or around October 31.

4.       The owl is a popular Halloween image. In Medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches.  An owl's call was a portent of death, some believed to hear an owl cry meant you were going to die.

5.       Black and orange are official Halloween colors. Orange is a symbol of strength and endurance and signifies the harvest and autumn. Black is a symbol of death and darkness. It is a reminder that Halloween was once a festival of the dead.

6.       Jack-o-lanterns are an Irish tradition. In Ireland, oversized rutabagas, turnips and potatoes were once hollowed-out, carved into frightening faces and illuminated with candles to be used as lanterns.

7.       The pumpkin originated in Mexico about 9,000 years ago. It is one of America's oldest known vegetables. A pumpkin’s average weight is between 15-to-30 pounds, although some may weigh as much as 200 pounds. Most pumpkins are orange, but they also can be white or yellow. Pumpkin carving is an American tradition.

8.       The Guinness Book of World Records lists the heaviest pumpkin in history to have weighed 2,323 pounds and was grown by Beni Meier of Switzerland.

9.       Candy corn has been made with the same recipe by the Jelly Belly Candy Company since approximately 1900.

10.     The word witch comes from the Old Saxon word wica, meaning wise one or wise woman. Early witches were respected healers.

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