Happy Halloween!

Today is Halloween!

Hopefully everyone is able to celebrate the day safely.

Did you know that Halloween accounts for 25 percent of all candy sales in the United States for an entire year?

Sounds like a pretty sweet day, doesn’t it? Here are a few other fun facts for your trick-or-treating.

According to HalloweenCostumes.com over $1.2 billion was spent on adult costumes, while $1 billion was spent on costumes for kids in 2011.

And people spent $310 million on costumes… for pets.

The average American will consume 1.2 pounds of candy on Halloween.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin on record weighed 1,810 pounds in Minnesota.

Illinois produces more than 90 percent of the pumpkins in the United States. Pumpkins harvested in the top six pumpkin-producing states (Illinois, California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan) in 2011 contributed over $113 million to the economy.

Halloween’s origins date back nearly 2,000 years to an ancient Celtic festival.

The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1, associating the seasonal change from summer to the dark, cold winter with human death. On the night before the new year – October 31 – they celebrated the festival of Samhain, when they believed ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

To honor the event, Celtic priests built huge sacred bonfires. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes.

On May 13, 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV established All Martyrs Day when he dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs. Pope Gregory III later moved the observance from May 13 to November 1, and, in 1000 A.D., the church made November 2 All Souls’ Day.

Like the Celtic Samhain festival, All Souls Day was celebrated with big bonfires, parades, and costumes. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-Hallows or All-Hallowmas; the night before came to be known as All-Hallows Eve, which eventually became Halloween.

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