Learn some fun facts about Halloween, including a few riddles about this popular American holiday. You'll even find a great recipe for fun to make (and eat!) "severed finger" cookies here!
Although Halloween did not originate in America, it has become one of the most popular American holidays. It's fun to learn some fun facts about Halloween that you can share with your friends and family. Kids and adults alike love to dress up in costumes and celebrate on this fun and spooky holiday! This facts about Halloween page will give you a brief history, as well as some interesting facts about this fun holiday.
Facts About Halloween and Halloween History
The tradition of trick or treating is believed to have its roots in Europe, with an old tradition called "souling". Beggars would go around from village to village begging for cakes or "soul cakes". The more cakes they received, the more prayers they would say for the donors dead loved ones.
The term "trick or treat" dates back to the 1930's. One of the earliest references to the phrase was printed in The Oregon Journal on November 1, 1934. The headline was "Halloween Pranks Keep Police on Hop" and it read "Other young goblins and ghosts, employing modern shakedown methods, successfully worked the 'trick or treat' system in all parts of the city." Treats were being passed out to young pranksters to keep them from vandalizing.
Halloween is believed to have originated in Ireland, with the Celtic religion. They had a huge feast called Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween) every November 1st. The Celtics would dress up in masks and costumes so the ghosts believed to be roaming the countryside on this day wouldn't recognize them. The name Halloween also stems from "All Hallows Eve", the night before "All Souls Day".
With the immigration of many Irish, the custom of Halloween was brought to American in the late 1800's..
Orange and black are popular Halloween colors because orange is associated with fall harvest and black is associated with death.
Over 28 million Halloween cards are sent each year
The first Jack-o-Lantern was carved out of a turnip, not a pumpkin. The pumpkin started to be used because it was more plentiful in the U.S.
Halloween has become a $6 billion commercial holiday in the United States.
One quarter of all candy purchased in the US is sold for Halloween.
According to the National Confectioner's Association, more than 35 million pounds of candy corn is produced each year.
Last Halloween, I used Martha Stewart's recipe for Severed Finger cookies, and they were such a hit I thought I'd include the recipe here. Also a photo of my cookies. These were a lot of fun to make and eat! I was giggling the entire time I was making these!
Severed Finger Cookies
2 tablespoons red food coloring
30 blanched almonds (I used sliced almonds for the fingernails and slivered almonds for the bones at the ends)
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats (French nonstick baking mats) or parchment paper, and set aside.
Place food coloring in a shallow bowl. crack each whole almond into halves. and toss them into the bowl with the food coloring and stir them until the color is evenly distributed. leave them in the bowl and stir them every so often until the color is as dark as you like.
Separate 1 egg. Set aside the white. In a small bowl, whisk together yolk, remaining egg, and vanilla. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, confectioner's sugar, granulated sugar, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add egg mixture, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
Divide the dough in half. Work with one piece at a time, keeping remaining dough covered with plastic wrap and chilled. Divide the first half into fifteen pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece back and forth with palms into finger shapes, 3 to 4 inches long. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with the back of a small knife. Transfer fingers to prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.
When all fingers are formed, brush lightly with egg white. Position almond nails; push into dough to attach.
Bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.
Note: To make the knuckles more creepy just shape them big and uneven. To keep them from puffing out too much roll the fingers extra skinny.
This book has over 40 recipes for Halloween treats and meals! With recipes like "Mummy Lasagna", "Cheesy Franken-Heads", "Bloody Mummy" and "Black Widow Bites", you are sure to find the perfect recipes for your holiday fun! Recipes for adults and children are included.
A famous "ghost story" from American history is "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", written by Washington Irving, famous American author. This short story tells the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. I found a video from National Geographic that tells a little about this haunting tale.