Halloween Trivia To Share And Scare

Halloween in today’s popular culture has strayed so widely from its paganistic roots that its spooky origins are often forgotten. The earliest traces of Halloween date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain(pronounced ‘Sau-win’), which was celebrated to honour the end of summer and the new year. It was believed that on the eve of the new year, ghosts and spirits would roam the Earth, and Celtic Druids commemorated their return with roaring sacred bonfires which were used to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to Celtic deities. 

Yikes! Having evolved over the ages, Halloween is now a fun-filled adventure that brings cultures together – a chance to play dress-up, visit friends, or have a Horror Movie marathon. In the spirit of this spooktacular fete, here are some frightfully interesting facts for you to surprise your friends with:

1. Piece Of Cake – The origins of trick or treating are believed to stem from an ancient practice in old Ireland and Britain, whereby the Church encouraged wealthier families to hand out “soul cakes” to the poor in exchange for prayers for dead relatives. This was known as “going a-souling“, and over time children took over the responsibilities of knocking on doors to pray in exchange for the cakes.

2. Witch Is Which? – The word “witch” is an Old English word ‘wicce’, which means “wise woman.”. Quite to the contrary of their demonistic reputation, wiccans were highly revered for their wisdom and held their main gatherings, or ‘sabbals’, on Halloween night.

3. So Sweet It’s Scary – In terms of candy sales, Halloween beats Valentine’s Day as the sweetest holiday in the USA. Census recorded that more than twice the amount of chocolate and candy is sold during Halloween compared to Valentine’s Day, with a rough estimate of around $3.5 billion spent each year.

4. The Curse Of Stingy Jack – The concept and name of the Jack-O-Lantern(Halloween pumpkin) is allegedly taken from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack, who fraternised with and outwitted the Devil several times. Condemned by Heaven and banished from Hell, Jack was turned away from the underworld upon death, forced to roam the Earth for eternity with a carved-out turnip filled with burning coal to light his way. Turnips switched to pumpkins over time simply because Irish immigrants found them to be plentiful in USA.

5. Now You See Me, Now You Don’t – The famed magician Harry Houdini died on October 31, 1926 from a ruptured appendix. Houdini was world-famous at the time of his death, known for his daring escapes from seemingly impossible circumstances. While life offered him treats, death did not miss a trick.

6. Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat, It’s Not Your Fault – Black cats have an unfounded infamy hovering over their heads about bringing bad luck if one crosses your path, especially on Halloween night. This notion was apparently an old Protestant belief of the Puritan Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony – they condemned anything to do with witchcraft, including the belief that witches could transform into cats at will. On a lighter note, this legend made its way into positive pop culture characters like Salem on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Lucinda The Cat in Bewitched (2005) starring Nicole Kidman, and of course Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter series.

7. Well Hallo-there – Forget couples costumes, Halloween was a time for matchmaking in ancient Rome. The most popular ritual is probably apple-bobbing, whereby young hopefuls had to dunk their heads in a barrel full of apples, and those who could catch an apple with one bite would be matchmade.

8. Nuts about Peanuts – 2017’s most popular Halloween candy in USA was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, along with other favorites such as Snickers,Twix, Kit Kat, Sour Patch Kids, and Skittles.

9. You Gave Me A Fright! – The fear of Halloween is called ‘Samhainophobia’, which often manifests itself along with phasmophobia (fear of ghosts), wiccaphobia (fear of witchcraft), and nyctophobia (fear of the dark).

10. Cause This Is Thriller Night – Some historians contend that trick-or-treating is heavily influenced by the old European practice of “mumming,” or “guysing,” in which costumed participants visit houses in the neighbourhood to perform choreographed dances, sing songs, or enact plays in exchange for treats.

11. The Spook-E-Conomy – According to the American National Retail Federation’s annual survey, US citizens splurged a record $9.1 billion in Halloween spending in 2017, up from 2016’s previous record of $8.4 billion. We wonder what will the figure be this year?

12. The Lewisburg Horror –  The Guinness Book Of World Records cites the world’s longest haunted house as the Haunted Cave, situated in Lewisburg, Ohio. The house measures 3,564 feet long and is 80 feet below ground in an abandoned mine. Fancy mining for gold here?

13. Jack Gives Back – Every year, children in America take part in Trick-Or-Treat For UNICEF to help children in need. Kids go from door-to-door holding a little orange box that collects money for the fund, a tradition that is now 60 years old. With celebrities getting involved to spread the message, we hope this is one tradition that never ends.

Now that you got the facts, it’s time to put on your costumes and head over to B.I.G. for the candy-haul! Don’t miss The BIG Horror Halloween festival happening until 31st October, there’s loads of activities for the family to enjoy, especially our Trick or Treat event happening 6 – 7 pm on 27th Oct (Publika & DC Mall) & 28th Oct (IPC Shopping Centre)! For more details, click this link https://bit.ly/BIGLatest.

Few more days left to enjoy these BIG Deals for October!

Experience a complete grocery adventure through our impressive array of ingredients and gourmet products at Ben’s Independent Grocer today!

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