» Candy Classroom : Fun Facts : Halloween


  • 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.
  • 93 percent of children will go trick-or-treating.
  • Bite-sized chocolate candies are the post popular type of candy to be included in Halloween activities (76 percent), followed by bite-sized non-chocolate candies (30 percent).
  • Twenty-six percent of households will include full-size candy (chocolate and non-chocolate) in their Halloween activities.
  • 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.
    • Chocolate preferred by 50 percent
    • Non-chocolate candy, 24 percent
    • Gum, 10 percent
  • Kids' least favorite items to get in their trick-or-treat bags were fruit and salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
    • Fruit, 1 percent
    • Salty snacks, 1 percent
    • Toys, 2 percent
    • Baked goods such as cookies/granola bars, 2 percent
    • Other, 2 percent
    • Don't know, 5 percent
    • Don't trick-or-treat, 3 percent
  • Ninety percent 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).
  • When kids ages 6-11 years old eat candy, they prefer chocolate candy two-to-one over candy that doesn't contain any chocolate.
  • Kids ages 6-11 years old say if they were given lots of candy, they would
    • Share some with their family, 66 percent
    • Share the candy with their friends, 64 percent
    • Give some to their teacher, 26 percent
    • Keep it all for themselves, 7 percent
    • Don't know what they would do, 2 percent

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