The term Halloween originates from the term All Hollows‘ Eve and describes the rural customs on the evening and the night before All Saints Day, meaning the night between the 31st of October and the 1st of November. These customs were originally most common in Irish Catholicism, but to us they are mostly present in the United States. The reason for Halloween being so popular in America is, that the Irish emigrants maintained their customs after having emigrated into the United Staetes, in order to commemorate their home country. You will find even more Fun Facts regarding Halloween in the following article.
- Next to Christmas, Halloween is the second most commercialized Holiday in the United States. Americans spend about 6.9 Billion Dollars on Halloween, with most of the money being used for candy, costumes and parties. Surprisingly a lot of the money also goes towards buying costumes for pets.
- The average American eats about 1.6kg of candy on Halloween, which equals the weight of a small Chihuahua.
- The heaviest pumpkin worldwide was grown in the garden of a man from Switzerland: It weighed almost 1,054kg, which is almost as much as a small car.
- Halloween finds its routes in Ireland. In Ireland they started celebrating “Samhain” 2000 years ago as the end of the harvesting period, because supposedly a lot of ghosts were roaming the earth on the last day of the year.
- Samhainophobia is a phobia describing a persistent, abnormal and unwarranted fear of Halloween or Samhain.
- In 1991 Halloween first arrived in Germany. During that time there was a war in Iraq and the Germans thought it wouldn’t be suitable to have a giant carnival celebration. However, the toy stores were filled with costumes, so the industry was in need of a different holiday where people would dress up.
- In England Halloween is only celebrated with family and close friends and is known as “Nutcrack Night”. The name comes from the custom of laying nuts in the fireplace with your significant other and seeing whether they are going to explode. If they explode with a loud bang, they are supposed to promise genuine love.
- The “Dia de los Muertos” is often wrongly titled as the Mexican version of Halloween. The confusion, however, is very understandable since Halloween as well as el Dia de los Muertos focuses on scary costumes and the general topic of death. The difference lies in the fact, that Halloween is based on the fear of death and ghosts and the Mexican Day of the Dead welcomes death with open arms and even celebrates it.
- In Japan they don’t celebrate Halloween, but the so called O-bon in honor of the deceased ancestors. On this holiday in the middle of August families get together in their hometown every year in order to maintain the grave of their family and to call on the ghosts of their deceased family members. In some villages, they place lanterns on rivers in order to light their ancestors the way back to their realm.
- The Spanish bake so called Huesos de Santo (Bones of the saints) and lay them on the graves of the deceased.
Happy Halloween and #StayScared!