Halloween, also called All Hallow's Eve, occurs on the eve of the Western Christian celebration of All Hallow's or All Saints Day - a day set aside to honor all the Saints of Christendom. Halloween is also a popular celebration with ties to the Celtic festival of Samhain, a celebration of the end of the harvest. The name Halloween comes from the longer name 'All Hallow's Eve'. In the US, this is a popular holiday for young and old and involves dressing up in costumes, harvest parties, and 'trick or treating'. It is celebrated every year on the 31st of October.
- Dressing up in costumes dates back to the Middle Ages when poor folks would dress up and go door-to-door on Hallowmas (November 1st), receiving food in exchange for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2).
- In early Celtic celebrations, turnips or other root vegetables were used in place of pumpkins. A burning lump of coal was placed inside the hollowed out vegetable and carried during the festivities.
- According to the National Retail Federation, more than 70% of Americans actively celebrate Halloween.
- According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween sales for costumes, decorations and candy was over $8 billion in 2012.
- The Guinness Book of World Record holder for the heaviest pumpkin was attained in October 2011 with a pumpkin weighing in at 1,818 lbs. 5 oz.
Halloween Top Events and Things to Do
- Dress up in your favorite costume.
- Go trick-or-treating.
- Bob for apples.
- Go to a haunted house.
- Watch scary movies all night long.