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Fun Halloween Facts and History

Thanks to the Ancient Celts (and to Illinois for All the Pumpkins)


Here are some fun Halloween facts you probably don't know. The celebration of Halloween dates back thousands of years to Celtic rituals. The demand for jack-o-lanterns contributes to the 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins, worth $117 million, that major pumpkin-growing states produced last year. Read on for more fun Halloween facts and traditions.

Facts About Halloween Trick or Treating

There are 36 million children aged 5 to 13 in the United States - all potential trick or treaters. They, and their older or younger friends, could potentially knock on 110 million doors, the number of occupied housing units in the country.

Residents in 93% of households consider their neighborhood safe, and 78% feel safe walking at night within a mile of their home.

Your Jack o' Lantern most likely came from Illinois, which grew 542 million pounds of pumpkin in 2007. California, New York and Ohio each produced at least 100 million pounds of the gourd.

Candy and Costumes by the Numbers

Each American ate 24.5 pounds of candy last year, on average. There were 2,077 costume rental shops across the country in 2006.

About 1,170 manufacturers make chocolate and cocoa products, employing 39,457 people and shipping $13.9 billion worth of sweets. The most are located in California and the number two state is Pennsylvania.

Only 473 plants manufacture non-chocolate candy, worth $7.2 billion, providing jobs for 18,733 people. Again, California was the sweetest state.

Halloween History

The origins of Halloween can be traced to the ancient Celts. The Celtic New Year rituals first blended with Roman holidays and then the Roman Catholic All Saint's festival.

In 1921, Anoka, Minn., held the first official, citywide observance of Halloween in the U.S.

Source: the U.S. Census Bureau

For more fun facts about the holidays, check out the About Working Moms calendar of holiday facts.

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