Halloween, extended

Halloween was yesterday, but if you read my last post you’re aware that today’s will contain even more interesting facts about Halloween. The day itself might be over, but that doesn’t mean one can’t appreciate reading up on its nature for shits and giggles.

Again, this information comes from goodhousekeeping.com.

“4. Immigrants helped popularize the holiday in the U.S.

When the Irish fled the potato famine in their country in the 1840s, they brought their Halloween traditions with them. The celebration spread across the country, until the mischievous Halloween pranksters reached an all-time high in the 1920s. Some believe community-based trick-or-treating became popular in the 1930s as a way to control the excessive pranksters.

“5. Sugar rationing during World War II halted trick-or-treating.

Because of the shortage of sweet stuff, trick-or-treating wasn’t as big of a thing during WWII. After the rationing ended, it was all systems go on the candy-collecting front. Candy companies began launching advertising campaigns to cash in on the ritual and make sure kids were clamoring for their products to show up in their candy buckets and spare pillowcases.

“6. Now Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday in the country.

It ranks second only after Christmas. Consumers spent approximately $9 billion on Halloween in 2019, according to the National Retail Federation. Spending was down a bit in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Americans still forked over $8 billion overall, or an average of $92 per person.

“7. Most Americans spend on candy, decorations and costumes.

Many of us put our money where our mouth is when it comes to loving Halloween. The largest share goes toward candy, with 95 percent picking up the sweet stuff, 75 percent planning on buying decorations and 65 percent shopping for costumes. Overall, Americans spent an average of $1,048 on winter holidays in 2019, if you’re wondering why we all tighten our belts (and our wallets) in January.

“8. The Irish also brought us jack-o’-lanterns.

As the story goes, an Irish man named Stingy Jack tricked the devil and therefore was not allowed into heaven or hell — so he spent his days roaming the Earth carrying a lantern; hence the name ‘Jack of the Lantern.’ Tell that story to the kids when you pick up your seasonal squash and try not to get goosebumps when you carve up your own pumpkins this year.

“9. They used to be carved out of turnips, potatoes and beets.

Jack-‘o-lanterns did originate in Ireland, after all. Once Halloween became popular in America, people used pumpkins instead. This year, you might consider adding some creative produce to your Halloween tableau for a more natural look that also has historical origins. When the holiday’s over, they make a delicious dinner side too!

“10. There’s also traditional Halloween bread in Ireland.

It’s called barmbrack or just ‘brack.’ The sweet loaf typically contains dark and golden raisins, as well as a small hidden toy or ring. Similar to the classic king cake at Mardi Gras, tradition dictates that the person who finds the item will come into good fortune in the coming year. That is, as long as they don’t choke on the trinket,” says the web page.

I didn’t include all of the facts about Halloween from this website, but feel free to read the rest by clicking on the link above. It’s neat stuff.

Image from https://images.pexels.com/photos/5471990/pexels-photo-5471990.jpeg?auto=compress&cs=tinysrgb&w=600

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