What’s the first thing you think of when you see October on the calendar? Halloween, of course, one of my favorite holidays. October is also the usual start of sweater weather (except for here in Phoenix), haunted houses and pumpkin themed/flavored everything.
However, do you know why we even celebrate this holiday? When you think about it, it’s kind of strange that kids (and adults, too!) dress up in costumes and walk from door-to-door asking for candy.
Here are a few fast facts to clear up some of the confusion behind the reason we celebrate Halloween:
According to History:
Halloween dates back more than 2,000 years ago when the Celts started a festival known as Samhain that marked the end of summer and beginning of winter. The Celts associated the beginning of winter with death.
The Celts also started the tradition of dressing in costume. They would dress as ghosts and evil spirits to disguise themselves from the real demons they believed haunted their towns and streets.
They also left treats at their front doors to make the wandering evil spirits happy.
Jack-o-lanterns are supposed to be carved from turnips, not pumpkins, and illuminated with a candle.
According to the National Retail Federation, total spending for Halloween candy is expected to reach $9 billion this year. Celebrants are planning to spend an average of $86.79, up from 2017’s $86.13, with more than 175 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities.
Skittles came in as the top candy across the United States, according to a study from CandyStore.com.
The study also found that Arizona’s most popular Halloween candy is Snickers. Scott would agree with that! Hot Tamales place second and Hershey Kisses round out in third place.
There are some towns around the United States that get to celebrate Halloween all year round including Hell, Mich.; Boos, Ill.; Pumpkin, Texas; Cat, Ark.; Spiderweb, S.C.; and our very own Tombstone, Ariz.
Our country is also home to some of the most haunted cities such as Salem, Mass.; Sleepy Hallow, N.Y.; Savannah, Ga.; Key West, Fla. and Gettysburg, Pa.
Face Your Fears:
The most common type of fear is social phobia. One in every 20 people has a fear of doing certain things around others because of judgement.
Other common fears are acrophobia (fear of heights), pteromerhanophobia (fear of flying), claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces); trypanophobia (fear of needles) and entomophobia (fear of insects).
Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween. Can you guess where that came from? This fear can present itself in all types of phobias such as phasmophia (fear of ghosts), wiccaphobia (fear of witchcraft) and hyctophobia (fear of darkness).