Saturday, October 30, 2010
Halloween Party Oct 30
Are you just about ready? Only one more sleep to go Here's a bit of trivia for you:
86% of Americans decorate their homes at Halloween.
Upwards of $1.5 billion is spent on Halloween costumes annually and more than $2.5 billion on other Halloween paraphernalia, such as decorations, crafts, etc. More than $100,000 of that is said to be spent online.Halloween is the third biggest party day of the year behind New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday, respectively.
Approximately 82% of children and 67% of adults take part in Halloween festivities every year.
Haunted houses are creepy fun, but also big business. The haunted house industry rakes in $300 million to $500 million dollars each year.
How about costumes?
From earliest times people wore masks when droughts or other disasters struck. They believed that the demons who had brought their misfortune upon them would become frightened off by the hideous masks. Even after the festival of Samhain had merged with Halloween, Europeans felt uneasy at this time of the year. Food was stored in preparation for the winter and the house was snug and warm. The cold, envious ghosts were outside, and people who went out after dark often wore masks to keep from being recognised.
The name Halloween dates from the 16th century.
Halloween is the 8th largest card sending holiday. The first Halloween greeting is dated back to early 1900 and today consumers spend around $50 million dollars on Halloween cards each year.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the first official citywide Halloween celebration in the United States happened in Anoka, Minnesota, in 1921.
Candy corn was revolutionary when it was first created for the simple fact that it was tri-colored.With an estimated $ 1.93 billion in candy sales, Halloween is the sweetest holiday of the year, beating out Easter, Valentine's Day, and Christmas. In fact, one quarter of all the candy sold each year is purchased between September 15 and November 10 making it the sweetest holiday of the year.
Trick or Treating:
The first incidence of the word “trick-or-treating” appearing in print comes from Chicago in 1927.
Kids have been walking door to door in costumes on Halloween night for centuries, but it’s only in the past few generations that they’ve shouted “Trick or Treat!” when doing it.
The custom probably has several origins. During Samhain, the Druids believed that the dead would play tricks on mankind and cause panic and destruction. They had to be appeased, so country folk would give the Druids food as they visited their homes.
An old Irish peasant practice called for going door to door to collect money, breadcake, cheese, eggs, butter, apples, etc., in preparation for the festival of St. Columb Kill.
Also a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes" made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.
A traditional food eaten on Halloween was barnbrack, a kind of fruitcake that can be bought in stores or baked at home. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside the cake that, it is said, can foretell the eater's future. If a ring is found, it means that the person will soon be wed; a piece of straw means that a prosperous year is on its way.
Bobbing for Apples:
Apples were the sacred fruit of the goddess, Pomona, goddess of the harvest, and many games of divination involving them entered the Samhain customs.
Bobbing for apples began as a Celtic fertility rite. Unmarried people would try to bite into an apple floating in water. The first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to marry.
The Witch, her broomstick and black cats:
The witch is one of the central symbols of Halloween. The name comes from the Saxon wica, meaning wise one. When setting out for a Sabbath, witches rubbed a sacred ointment onto their skin. This gave them a feeling of flying, and if they had been fasting they felt even giddier. Some witches rode on horseback, but poor witches went on foot and carried a broom or a pole to aid in vaulting over streams. In England when new witches were initiated they were often blindfolded, smeared with flying ointment and placed on a broomstick. The ointment would confuse the mind, speed up the pulse and numb the feet. When they were told "You are flying over land and sea," the witch took their word for it.
They kept a black cat as their familiar to help protect their powers from harm.
In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence region of North America, he reported finding "gros melons." The name was translated into English as "pompions," which has since evolved into the modern "pumpkin."
Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years and are indigenous here.
They are fruits. A pumpkin is a type of squash and is a member of the gourd family (Cucurbitacae), which include squash, cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.
Of the pumpkins marketed domestically, 99% of them are used as Jack-o-lanterns at Halloween. The carved pumpkin is perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday.
See you tomorrow for our last party day.
Remember to comment to be entered in the draw for your own hollowed out pumpkin.