Halloween Trivia Fun!
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Are you having a Halloween party this year? If you are, you are not alone. Next to New Year’s Eve and the Super Bowl, Halloween is the next most popular holiday in the U.S. on which to throw a party.
You can entertain your guests this year by sharing these interesting bits of trivia about the celebration of Halloween and its origins. Turn it into a quiz and award a prize for the most correct answers!
1. Halloween or All Hollow’s Eve is believed to be based on the ancient Celtic harvest festival called Samhain (pronounced SAH-win or SOW-in) which means “summer’s end.” The Celts occupied Ireland, Scotland, and northern France.
2. A “hallow” is a saint or a holy person. So All Hallows’ Eve is the eve of All Saints’ Day in the Christian community, a day to celebrate the Christian saints.
3. Originally celebrated on May 13, All Saints’ Day was moved to November 1 to allow converted pagans to continue celebrating their harvest festival which was typically celebrated around October 31-November 1.
4. The Samhain festival celebrated the final day of the harvest and the crossing over of spirits to the other world. The Celts believed that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside that night and they lit sacrificial bonfires to ward off the spirits. They also began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
5. Trick-or-Treating dates back to Medieval times when it was known as "guising" in Scotland and Ireland. Young people dressed up in costumes and asked for food or money in exchange for songs, poems, or other "tricks."
6. The celebration of Halloween came to North America with immigrants from Ireland fleeing the potato famine of the 1840’s.
7. Playing pranks and causing mischief on Halloween reached an all-time high in the 1920’s, which may have led to community-based trick-or-treating becoming popular in the 1930s as a way to control the excessive pranksters.
8. Halloween is now the second largest commercial holiday in the U.S., coming in behind Christmas. Consumers spend over $8 Billion each year on Halloween candy, costumes, decorations, food, and party goods.
9. Jack-o’-Lanterns originated in Ireland and were carved out of turnips, potatoes, and beets. When the tradition came to America, people started using pumpkins, which are native to North America. As the story goes, an Irish man named Stingy Jack tricked the devil and therefore was not allowed into heaven or hell — so he spent his days roaming the Earth, carrying a lantern, and went by "Jack of the Lantern." People began placing lights inside turnips to ward away evil spirits.
10. Orange and black are the official Halloween colors because orange is associated with the fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.
11. The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainophobia.
12. The next full moon on Halloween will be in 2020.
13. Illinois produces up to five times more pumpkins than any other state, typically growing over 500 million pounds of pumpkins annually.
14. The most popular children’s costumes are princesses and superheroes.
15. The most popular Halloween candy is the chocolate bar – with Snickers being the #1 choice.
Husch Blackwell LLP