3 interesting Facts I found on Halloween
1: Trick or Treating is a fairly new concept:
Trick or treating is central Halloween celebrations today, but it hasn't always been that way. Prior to the 1940s, trick or treating was rare—and prior to the 30`s it was non-existent. So what changed?
Well, back in the good ol’ days, Halloween was a night for tricking, not treating. That is, youngsters spent the evening pulling pranks on unsuspecting homes. These pranks ranged from classics like “throwing rotten vegetables at your house” to “rigging a wooden spool to tap on your window.” And yes, that second one is real. They were called tick tacks, and they were incredibly popular. Halloween’s association with pranks was so strong at the time that children’s craft books offered instructions for creating tools to terrorize adults with: “…methods for constructing bean blowers, goblin figures, and several varieties of the notorious tick tack.”
Unfortunately, pranking became too popular, and everyone knows what happens when everyone’s getting in on the fun: pranks start to escalate. Tick tacks took a back seat to vandalism, and bean blowers to arson. Flipping cars, sawing down telephone poles, and breaking windows were en vogue, and it was so bad that the celebration of 1933 was dubbed ‘Black Halloween.’
For some reason, parents didn’t just keep their children inside on Halloween, and instead the entire nation banded together to try and occupy the destructive little tykes on the spookiest night of the year. Many different methods were attempted: pageants and school plays, poetry recitals, and other such high minded activities were suggested. Shockingly, these educational options didn’t take off. What did? Knocking on doors and candy extortion. Soon, Halloween had adopted costumes, common in some other door-to-door holiday customs around the world, and the signature threat—er, phrase: “Trick or treat!”
2: The Origins Of Jack-o-Lanterns
Although the pumpkin jack o’ lantern has only been around since the time of the Civil War.They were around much earlier only they were made of turnips.
Jack o’ lanterns are inspired by an old folk tale. The main character in the Irish version is Stingy Jack, who’s a clever but lazy fellow who tricks Satan into getting trapped in an apple tree. He releases Satan after extracting a promise: not to take Jack’s soul. Well, when Jackie boy’s judgement day rolls around, he’s in a pickle. He won’t go to hell, thanks to the promise, but he wasn’t good enough for St. Peter to open the pearly gates for him either. He’s stuck in between, doomed to wander the mortal plane in darkness.. Jack complains to Satan about the gloomy infinite night. Satan gives Jack an ember from Hell to light his way. Well, hell born embers are not for carrying in your bare hand, even if you’re a ghost stuck in limbo, so Jack improvised. He hollowed out his favourite vegetable to hold the light: a turnip. Old timers believe that Jack of the Lantern is still wandering on the darkest of nights, his flickering, er, turnip held out before him.
3: Halloween is the Second most expensive holiday
Yep, that’s right: Halloween is the second highest grossing holiday of the year. Part of the reason for that is the fact that the vast majority of the population participates. 93% of kids participate in trick or treating, and that’s out of 41 million children. It costs quite a bit to pile up enough sugar fuel for all of the little devils, vampires, and superheroes that are going to come a’knocking. And just about that many kids are planning their costumes a month in advance, too… and those cost money as well.
And that doesn’t even factor in the money adults will spend on their own costumes and entertainment—over a billion in costumes alone, and several hundred million just for pet costumes. And the season is only getting spendier, with more suburbanites catering to the idea of a “Halloween season” and decorating their yards and houses with spooky lights and other ornaments.
It’s something of a surprise, because with no gifts and no big family meals or obligatory get-togethers, Halloween seems relatively low key. But Easter, another candy-centric holiday doesn’t even come close, and Valentine ’s Day isn’t in the running at all.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about these interesting facts I know I did.
Call me if you would like a free no obligation evaluation of your home and I`ll bring you a bag of candy and a JACK-O-LANTERN