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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