11 Halloween Facts You Didn't Know
Everybody knows that Halloween is the perfect excuse to stock up on free candy. But, think for a second: What else do you really know about Halloween? If your answer, as mine was, is "not much," then good news: these 11 facts about Halloween should be a good primer for helping you learn more about this important holiday. Turns out, there's more to trick-or-treating than just dressing up and getting candy! Intrigued? Read on, friends. Read on.
Halloween is filled with traditions, but as you'll soon find out, they didn't all necessarily come from where you might have thought. Jack-o-lanterns, for example, weren't originally made of pumpkins, but rather another vegetable. I know, mind blown. And as for the holiday as a whole? It doesn't even have roots in America. Sorry, it's true.
These five interesting Halloween facts will give you something to think about this Oct. 31 as you're carving your pumpkin and enjoying your candy. They'll also give you something to test your friends on while you're sipping on Halloween cocktails and getting dressed up in whatever ridiculous costume you thought up this year. Basically, they'll make you more knowledgable about Oct. 31, and who wouldn't want that? Take advantage.
1. Halloween Didn't Originate In America
According to The History Channel, the holiday actually came from Ireland's Celtic festival for the dead, "Samhain." For them, the festival represented the ending of the old and the welcoming of the new.
2. Jack-O-Lanterns Were Originally Not Made Out Of Pumpkins
Since Halloween originated in Ireland, so did the carving of pumpkins... only, they didn't use pumpkins, because there were none in Ireland. As Pumpkin Nook reveals, in place of pumpkins, the Irish used turnips to make their jack-o-lantern masterpieces.
3. Halloween Was Originally Called "Cabbage Night" In Certain Towns
Why? Well, because there was a Scottish game where girls used cabbage stumps to determine their futures. The Huffington Post states that they were specifically trying to predict information regarding their future husbands. Sounds like an old school version of "Mashed," no?
4. You Used To Have To Dance For Your Candy
If only it were still like this, right? The Huffington Post also writes that in the earliest versions of trick-or-treating, men would go from house to house while performing dances, singing songs, and acting out sketches in exchange for money. This was originally a form of begging, but it quickly turned into a candy collecting tradition.
5. It's The Day That Harry Died
Most people know the story of Harry Houdini's death: A ruptured appendix did the famous magician in. But, did you know that he passed away on Oct. 31, 1926? Seems only fitting that America's most iconic magician would leave this world on a day when ghosts supposedly enter it.
6. Some Of The "Tricks" That Used To Take Place On Halloween Were Pretty Awful
Yes, the "trick" part of "trick-or-treat" used to be a real thing. The 1800s were filled with horrible pranks because of it. According to Live Science, tipping over outhouses, opening farmers' gates, and egging houses were not unheard of on Halloween — all in the name of tricking and treating.
7. Nearly 35 Million Pounds Of That Famous Halloween Candy Is Produced Yearly
People tend to have strong feelings about candy corn — they either hate it or they love it. If you hate it, then this fact might surprise you: Womans Day reported that nearly 35 million pounds of candy corn are produced each year.
8. There's Something Called "Trunk-Or-Treating"
Yes, you read that correctly. According to Womans Day, "trunk-or-treating" was introduced in 2000 as a safe alternative to the traditional sidewalk trick-or-treating. The trend consists of parents parking their cars in a school or church parking lot and decorating their trunks with Halloween decorations and candy to be handed out to children.
9. There's A Fine For Using Silly String In Hollywood, CA On Oct. 31
If you plan to have a little Halloween fun with silly string this year, make sure that you're not having that fun in Hollywood. Business Insider reports that there's a $1,000 fine for those using or selling the silly string in Hollywood on Halloween.
10. No One Has Ever Been Poisoned From Their Halloween Candy
Apparently, no one has ever died from any intentionally poisoned candy on Halloween — at least, according to Livescience.
11. There's A Reason Orange And Black Are Halloween's Colors
You know how everything that's Halloween-themed is orange and black? Well that's not random. International Business Times states that "orange represents the harvest and black represents the death of summer." Now you know!
Images: Tetra Images/Shutterstock; Giphy