Thursday, October 28, 2010

Today's Trivia – Halloween

On Sunday, it’s October 31st, so this week’s trivia is all about – you guessed it – Halloween!

- Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.

- Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.

- Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.

- The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.

- Apparently, signs of a werewolf are a unibrow, hairy palms, tattoos, and a long middle finger.

- Vampires are mythical beings who defy death by sucking the blood of humans.

- In 1962, the Count Dracula Society was founded.

- To this day, there are vampire clubs and societies with people claiming to be real vampires.

- There really are so-called vampire bats, but they're not from Transylvania. They live in Central and South America and feed on the blood of cattle, horses and birds.

- The movie "Halloween" was made in only 21 days in 1978 on a very limited budget. Because it was shot in spring, fake autumn leaves were used.

- The mask used by Michael Meyers in the movie "Halloween" was actually William Shatner's mask painted white.

- The character Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis was named after John Carpenter's first girlfriend.

- While the setting for the story is in Illinois, the vehicles have California license plates.

- Halloween is on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honoring the dead. Holloween was referred to as All Hallows Eve and dates back to over 2000 years ago.

- According to folklore, if you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved one watching over you.

- Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday celebrated on October 31.

- According to folklore, the jack-o-lantern got its name from a man named Jack.

- Turnips and beets served as the original jack-o-lanterns.

- Mexico celebrates 'The Day of the Dead' instead of Halloween.

- Pumpkins originated in Central America. When Europeans arrived in the New World, they found pumpkins plentiful and used in cooking by Native Americans. They took seeds back to Europe where they quickly became popular.

- Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first. People spend as much as over $2.5 billion during Halloween on candies, costumes, decorations and parties.

- Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.

- Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters.

- It is believed that the Irish began the tradition of Trick or Treating. In preparation for All Hallow's Eve, Irish townsfolk would visit neighbors and ask for contributions of food for a feast in the town.

- Black cats were once believed to be witch's familiars who protected their powers.

- Samhainophobia is an intense fear of Halloween.

- In Ohio, Iowa, and Massachusetts, Halloween is often referred to as Beggar's Night.

- The largest Halloween celebration -- the Village Halloween Parade -- is held in Greenwich Village.

- The most popular costume of 2005 was Spiderman.

- The first official city-wide Halloween celebration was held in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921.

- The biggest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds. (Oh my...)

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