Fun facts about Halloween - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Fun facts about Halloween

The jack-o'-lantern began with a fellow named Jack, who was too stingy for Heaven and too mischievous for hell. (©iStockphoto.com/Jong kiam Soon) The jack-o'-lantern began with a fellow named Jack, who was too stingy for Heaven and too mischievous for hell. (©iStockphoto.com/Jong kiam Soon)

Provided by the National Confectioners Association

Historical Happenings 

  • The celebration of Halloween started in the United States as an autumn harvest festival. In pioneer days, some Americans celebrated Halloween with com-popping parties, taffy pulls and hayrides.

  • In the late nineteenth century, with the large influx of Irish immigrants into the U.S., Halloween became associated with ghosts, goblins and witches.

  • Jack-o-lanterns are an Irish tradition. In Ireland, oversized rutabagas, turnips and potatoes were hollowed-out, carved into faces and illuminated with candles to be used as lanterns during Halloween celebrations.

  • The word "witch" comes from the Old Saxon word "wica", meaning "wise one." The earliest witches were respected dealers in charms and medicinal herbs and tellers of fortunes.

  • The pumpkin originated in Mexico about 9,000 years ago. It is one of America's oldest known vegetables. Pumpkins generally weigh from 15-to-30 pounds, although some weigh as much as 200 pounds. The majority of pumpkins are orange, but they also can be white or yellow. They are rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene and potassium, and their seeds provide protein and iron.

  • According to legend, the jack-o'-lantern began with a fellow named Jack, who was too stingy to be allowed into Heaven and too mischievous to join the Devil in hell. As consolation, the Devil threw Jack a lighted coal, which Jack placed inside a turnip he was eating. It is said that Jack continues to use the coal to light his path as he searches for a final resting place.

Trick-or-Treat Tidbits

Adults

  • Four-in-ten (41%) adults admit that they sneak sweets from their own candy bowl.

  • On Halloween night, the majority (52%) of those providing treats to costumed kiddies will be passing out chocolate, while three-in-ten will drop hard candy or lollipops into the sacks.

  • 62% of adults will be handing out candy because "it's a personal favorite" or it's a household tradition (55%)

  • 43% of grown-up celebrants cite costumes as one of the most indispensable parts of the holiday.

  • About 26% of households will include full-size candy (chocolate and non-chocolate) in their Halloween activities.

  • 90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids' Halloween trick-or-treat bags.

  • Parents favorite treats to sneak from their kids' trick-or-treat bags are snack-size chocolate bars (70 percent sneak these), candy-coated chocolate pieces (40 percent), caramels (37 percent) and gum (26 percent).

  • Parents least favorite goodie to take from their kids' trick-or-treat bags is licorice (18 percent).

Kids

  • 30% of kids report that they SORT their candy first when returning home with trick-or-treat loot, others:
     
    • Savor it (20%)
    • Share it (16%)
    • Stash it (14%)
    • Swap it (7%)

  • Kids say they prefer homes that give: anything made with chocolate (68%) followed by lollipops (9%), gummy candy (7%) and bubble gum or chewing gum (7%)

  • More than 93% of children go trick-or-treating each year. 

  • Kids tell us that their favorite treats to receive when trick-or-treating are candy and gum. Eighty-four percent of kids said candy and gum are their favorites over other options like baked goods or small toys. 
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