Before you know it, little ghosts and goblins will be knocking on your door, bags in hand, arms stretched out, chanting those three famous words: “Trick or treat!”

But do you know why kids all around the country dress up in their favorite costumes in search of candy and other Halloween treats? Or how the Jack O’ Lantern became the unofficial symbol of Halloween? Read on to learn the answers to these and other Halloween mysteries.

  • The first Jack O’ Lanterns were made from turnips, not pumpkins. Folks in Ireland would place candles in hollowed-out turnips to ward off spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
  • While orange is the most common pumpkin color, they come in various colors and shades, including white, green, and blue.
  • After Christmas, Halloween in the second most commercially lucrative holiday with total national sales of about $7 billion per year.
  • The act of passing out Halloween candy has its roots in the middle ages, when the poor would go door to door begging for food in exchange for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day.
  • Dressing up on Halloween originates from an ancient Celtic tradition. The Celts would disguise themselves from spirits wandering the streets during the Samhain holiday.
  • The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.
  • About 67% of adults take part in Halloween activities each year, such as decorating the house, passing out candy, or trick-or-treating with their children. And approximately 50% of them dress up in costume.
  • The largest pumpkin ever measured, weighing in at a whopping 836 pounds, was grown by Norm Craven in 1993.

Halloween was influenced by the ancient Roman festival Pomona, which celebrated the harvest goddess of the same name. Many Halloween customs and games that feature apples (such as bobbing for apples) and nuts date from this time. In fact, in the past, Halloween has been called San-Apple Night and Nutcrack Night.

Here’s another interesting fact about Halloween:  the day after is November 1 when you can pretty count on as a day your home will need to be heated.  The question is, just how ready is your heating system to get you through the heating season without a hitch?  To spare yourself the headache and expense of a system breakdown, contact Anthony’s Plumbing Heating & Cooling today for our heating system preventive maintenance service.  It’s your best assurance of a winter filled with indoor warmth and comfort.