OBVIOUS SIMILARITIES suggest at least a
notional link between the present-day Halloween
custom of wearing costumes and trick-ortreating on October 31 and the Medieval
practices of "mumming" and "ginga_souling" on
the eves of All Saints Day (November 1) and All
Souls Day (November 2). Mumming took the
form of wearing costumes, chanting, singing,
play-acting, and general mischief making, while
souling entailed going door to door and offering
prayers for the dead in exchange for treats,
particularly "soul cakes."
Historically, the practice of
giving out candy because
in ancient Rome people
would give out sweets
Nowadays, candy is given
out to ward off tricks and
vandalism done by children
if they don’t get treats. This
vandalism can be a simple
toilet papering of the
persons house, throwing
eggs, to more violent
actions like, breaking
windows or starting fires.
THE NAME "jack-o'-lantern" is of British origin
and dates from the 17th century, when it
literally meant "man with a lantern"
"a lantern made by scooping out the inside of a
turnip, carving the shell into a rude
representation of the human face, and placing a
lighted candle inside it."
Halloween is a $7 billion
enough candy to add
enterprise, making up 8
about 3 pounds to their percent of all U.S. sweets
weight. The thousands of sales. It's a huge boost for
calories of fat and sugar the economy before the
may taste good, but they holiday season begins in
can do a lot of damage. earnest. We spend more
Fortunately, most young than $2 billion on costumes
people can eat anything nationwide.
they want and get away
Come on, guys. Look at that number.
$330 million on pet costumes. That’s
about one-sixth of the money spent on
human costumes. That money could
be used on just about anything else —
we could help the poor, pay for
education, support worthwhile
charities. But we choose pet
Nothing makes us feel like kids
again more than Halloween. All
of our greatest memories
associated with the spooky
holiday conjure up snapshots of
crafty costumes and cavityinducing treats. In the days
leading up to Halloween, creepy
cartoons always set the mood
with spine-tingling tales and
famous animated characters
channeling the dark side.
Samhain was later transformed as Christian leaders co-opted pagan
holidays. In the seventh century Pope Boniface IV decreed November 1
All Saints' Day, or All Hallows' Day.
The night before Samhain continued to be observed with bonfires,
costumes, and parades, though under a new name: All Hallows' Eve—
cooler fall weather and a tepid economy may put a slight chill
on this year's celebrations. Almost 158 million consumers will
take part in Halloween activities this year, down a bit from
2012's 170 million people, which was the high mark in the
decade since the survey began.
The average person will spend a bit less this year too, the
survey found: a total of $75.03 on decorations, costumes, and
candy, down from $79.82 last year. Total expenditures for the
holiday should reach $6.9 billion, similar to the 2011 levels
but down from a spike to some $8 billion last year.