Halloween on October 31 is undoubtedly the creepiest, most ghostly holiday of them all. Children dress up as Batman, the Joker, Wonder Woman, or some other favorite character; go to parties or walk their neighborhoods with jack o’ lanterns full of sweets as they go trick-or-treating. Spooky decorations fill windows and porches and screams can be heard in living rooms up and down the country as we collectively binge our favorite horror movies.
Though Halloween is expected to look somewhat different this year, See’s Candies wanted to let everyone know that you can still celebrate and have fun, safely! There are many ways to celebrate Halloween that don’t involve going door-to-door trick-or-treating in search of Halloween sweets.
See’s Candies has created fun, festive, and out-of-the-chocolate box ideas for having a safe, socially-distanced Halloween. Whether you put on a driveway costume contest or finally build that candy launcher you’ve always dreamed of, See’s is here to help you keep Halloween as fun, and as safe, as it has ever been.
Click below to download See’s “No Tricks, Just Treats: Halloween 2020 Kit.”
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5 Crazy Facts About Halloween Candy
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays — it’s the perfect combination of scares and sweets. This year we’re definitely hoping for a Halloween with more sweets and treats than screams and scares. To celebrate all things sweet, See’s Candies is sharing some fun facts about Halloween candy. So sit back, relax, unwrap some chocolates, and enjoy these spooky facts.
Fact 1: Candy Corn Can Circle the Earth 4 Times
Yes, you read that right. Every year some 35 million pounds are made (and most are consumed around Halloween). If you were to lay each of those kernels end to end they’d circle the Earth 4.25 times — that’s nearly 106,000 miles of candy corn.
Source: Trick or Treat Tidbits: Fun Facts About Halloween Candy
Fact 2: Half of the United States Will Buy Candy at Halloween
According to data from 2019, 172 million people celebrated Halloween, 95% of whom will purchase candy. That’s half the country! It’s unclear how much of that candy is being given out to kids and how much we adults are hoarding for ourselves and definitely we’re not telling.
Source: 15 mind-blowing facts about Halloween candy consumption in the US
Fact 3: The World’s Largest Lollipop Weighed More Than 11 Grizzly Bears
This one comes from our friends at See’s! Back in 2012 they made history by creating the world’s largest lollipop. At 7,003 pounds and 5’ 11” tall, the lollipop weighed as much as nearly a dozen bears, 1.5 luxury sedans, or 5 horses. Add in the stick and it was more than 16’ high!
Source:Fun Candy Facts That Will Blow Your Mind
Fact 4: Candy Wasn’t Even the OG Halloween Treat
These days, Halloween and candy go together hand in hand, but it wasn’t always the case. In the 1930s and 1940s trick-or-treaters could be graced with lots of different things in their baskets from baked goods and fruit, to nuts or even loose change. It wasn’t until the 1950s that Halloween got too big and candy became the norm. We’re grateful for the change … ever accidentally bite into a quarter?
Source: The Haunted History of Halloween Candy
History of Halloween
The word, Halloween or Hallowe’en dates from before the 16th century and draws from its early Christian past. In old Scottish, Hallowe’en translates as “All Hallows’ (holy) Even” referring to “All Hallows’ Evening,” the day before All Hallows Day, a solemn occasion in which all of the Catholic Church’s heavenly saints were honored. By the 18th century, Halloween shows up with the spelling we know today.
Going back in time, Halloween is fascinating because it has lots of practices that date back to its pagan origins. For example, the Halloween tradition of bobbing for apples reminds us of the Roman invasion of England. As part of Roman paganism, they brought an apple tree, symbolic of Pomona, Goddess of Plenty. During an annual festival, young marriage-minded people bit into apples floating in the water. According to beliefs, whoever bit the apple was next to marry.
But it’s really the Celts we have to thank for Halloween. They were ancient people who lived in the areas of modern-day Ireland, northern France, and in the UK. Halloween’s pagan roots go back thousands of years to the Celtic Fire Festival of Samhain, which recognized the end of the harvest season and the start of their new year on November 1.
During this festival, pagans wore costumes and lit fires to keep the bad spirits away – keep that in mind when you’re donning your Dracula fangs! With the dark nights of winter representing death, the Celts believed that on October 31, the dead returned to walk among the living. Sounds kind of zombie-ish, right?
The Christian Influence
As Christian influence on society began to grow around the 8th century, new customs and traditions were brought in and merged with those of the Celts. Christians would celebrate All Souls Day on November 2, which was a day to honor the dead in much the same way that the Celts did on Samhain. It was around this time that the evening before the celebration became known as All Hallows Eve.
After All Hallows Day was officially switched to November 1 in 835, October 31 became known as All Hallows Eve and the holiday we know and love today was starting to take shape. By the 12th century, these days had gained holy importance throughout Europe, and customs such as ringing the church bells for the souls of those in purgatory had become widespread.
A typical Halloween would see a mournful crier parading through the streets, dressed all in black, ringing bells, and encouraging the locals to pray for the souls of the dead. It was around this time that “souling” began to happen, but there’s more about that further down in the trick-or-treat section. By the Middle Ages churches were too poor to display the relics of martyred saints and so churchgoers began dressing up as them every year instead. This could partly explain where the tradition of dressing up on Halloween stems from.
Halloween in America
Halloween became popular in America in the 19th century, with enthusiasm for the holiday being brought across with the Irish and Scottish immigrants who were arriving at the time. The biggest change from Halloween’s earliest roots is that it becomes more secular than religious. By the 1920s and 30s, Halloween parades and parties became a major part of the festivities and the holiday was celebrated from coast to coast, regardless of race or religious background.
Trick-or-treating is said to stem from the practice of “souling”, which is a Medieval practice where churchgoers would go between different parishes and ask the rich for pastries which were known as soul cakes. In return, they would pray for the souls of them and their friends. While “souling”, people would carry with them lanterns made of hollowed-out turnips. That turnip is now of course a pumpkin and it is believed that that the jack-o-lantern originally represented the souls of the dead.
By the late 19th century children in Scotland and Ireland were dressing up in costume and going from door to door accepting gifts from neighbors, this practice was known as “guising”. The children would generally be given bits of food for their efforts. The first recorded instance of this in America is in 1911. The term trick-or-treat was first used in Alberta, Canada, in 1927, and by the 1930s it was starting to become a popular activity.
Modern Day Halloween
By the 1950s Halloween became a holiday that was primarily for the children. Trick-or-treating was commonplace as kids went around their neighborhoods in costume collecting candy. Halloween became increasingly embedded in popular culture and horror movies would often be released to coincide with the holiday. Movies such as “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Halloween,” and “Friday the 13th” have all become classics associated with the holiday.
Halloween is now America’s second-largest commercial holiday, with $6 billion being spent on it each year. Numerous traditions such as trick-or-treating, costume parties, and watching horror movies all contribute towards a huge occasion that is celebrated throughout the country.
Halloween plays off our phobias. Killer clowns and antique dolls creep you out? Bats and spiders make your skin crawl? Does the sight of blood make you faint? Don’t go into that room and don’t go out on Halloween. But if you do — look over your shoulder! On Halloween, be a kid again or take on a new persona. Watch out for ghosts and goblins and things that go, “bump” in the night. Eat as much candy as your tummy can hold. Enjoy feeling totally scared for just. one. night. Happy Halloween, everybody!