It's almost Halloween!

It’s almost Halloween!

Halloween goes back more than 2,000 years. Of course light up costumes and hair dye weren’t a thing then. Halloween started as a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain (which means “summer’s end”) and it was held around the first of November. It celebrated the final day of the harvest and the crossing of spirits over into the other side.

Believe it or not, trick-or-treating has existed since medieval times. Except, you weren’t getting Reese’s cups. Children dressed up in costumes and asked for food or money in exchange for songs, poems, or other “tricks.” Now you know where the phrase “trick or treat!” comes from! And did you know there was a time when Halloween was also used to find your soulmate? It’s really true. During the 18th century, Halloween was celebrated with traditions for women to find a husband. According to History.com, women would use apple peels to learn their future husband’s initials and competitively bob for apples because whoever won would be the first to get married. The creepiest husband-finding tradition included standing in a dark room with a candle in front of a mirror with the hopes of finding their future husband’s face.

Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the country – can you guess what’s first? Of course you can… good ol’ St. Nick comes in first with Christmas. On average, American’s spend $86.27 on Halloween every year. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), that average came out to approximately $9 billion on Halloween last year. That’s a lot of money spent on Halloween decorations, tons of candy and fancy costumes. For the sake of comparison… at Christmas, in 2019 the average spend was $1,048.

It’s be 19 years since the last full moon on Halloween. So that means, the last time there was a full moon on Halloween was in 2001. Before that it was 1955! A full moon on Halloween is pretty rare. In fact, in the 21st century, we will only see six full moons Halloween: 2001, 2020, 2039, 2058, 2077 and 2096.

It’s really not surprising to hear that the most popular children’s costumes are princesses and superheroes. For adults, witches are the classic fan favorite and scary clowns. And for our furry friends, a pumpkin!

Finally, do you know where pumpkin carvings game from? The Irish brought us jack-o’-lanterns. Here’s the story: an Irish man named Stingy Jack tricked the devil. He was therefore banned from heaven or hell (yikes). And so, he spent his days roaming the Earth, carrying a lantern. That’s how he got the name, “Jack of the Lantern.” These spooky carvings used to be carved out of turnips, potatoes, and beets. Once Halloween became popular in America, people started using the big orange pumpkins we know and love today. Fun fact: Stephen Clarke holds the record of the fastest pumpkin carving time of 16.47 seconds. CRAZY!! To beat this record, you must carve a complete face, including eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.

Here at TextbookRush we love to eat candy, especially around Halloween. That got us wondering which candy is the most and least popular. So we asked, and you answered. Here’s what you said…

Top Five Favorites: 1) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - 24.76%, 2) Snickers - 10.06%, 3) KitKat - 8.79%, 4) Twix - 7.91%, 5) M&Ms - 4.15%. Top Five Least Favorite: 1) Candy Corn - 10.38%, 2) Sour Patch Kids - 6.55%, 3) Twizzlers - 5.91%, 4) Whoppers - 5.75%, 5) Runts - 5.75%. Some fun facts: 55% of respondents stopped trick or treating between the ages 12-15, one person said they done eat any candy, and one person said they like all candy and don't have a least favorite.

About the author

Alison Blankenship
Senior Marketing Manager
I graduated Cum Laude from The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with degrees in Marketing and Communications. I’ve been working in the textbook industry for over 10 years, and my work has been featured by College Confidential, Mercy College of Health Sciences, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Tribune, Montana Technological University, Oregon Live, and other organizations.

I’m an obsessive lover of dachshunds and a passionate reader of books. I’m an avid Pinner and poster, and I’m all over our Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram and Pinterest.