Happy Halloween: The Top Five Things You Don’t Know About Dia De Los Muertos

Category: Offbeat / Oct 31, 2011 12:12PM EDT
Halloween was originally the ancient Celtic New Year’s Eve. For the Celts, the New Year began on November first...at the traditional end of summer harvest and the onset of winter. It was believed the spirits of the dead returned on this eve to damage crops and play tricks on the living. The first Jack-O-Lanterns were made out of turnips. Nineteenth century Irish immigrants coming to America brought the jack-o-lantern, but it was a turnip carved out to make room for a light. When those immigrants had trouble finding turnips, they instead turned a vegetable native to their new land- - the pumpkin. Halloween Trick-Or-Treating originated from begging. People living in Medieval England practiced souling, in which poor people would beg for sweet breads, in return for praying for the families' souls. Later, the immigrants who brought Halloween to America would develop their own version of trick-or-treating, but it did not become popular until the 1930s. Halloween Is the Second Highest Grossing Commercial Holiday after Christmas. Americans spend an estimated 6.9 billion dollars annually on candy, costumes and decorations. However...according the National Retail Federation...Shoppers will spend an average of $56.31 on the holiday compared to $66.54 in 2008. One quarter of all the candy sold annually is for Halloween night. Americans consume 20 million pounds of candy corn a year. Also, forty one percent of adults admit that they sneak sweets from their own candy bowl...And 90% of parents admit to sneaking candy from their kids' Halloween bags.