Halloween Quick Facts - US

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2023 DateOctober 31, 2023
2024 DateOctober 31, 2024


Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve, is widely recognized for its association with numerous customs, such as dressing up in costumes, carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and indulging in scary stories and films. These practices have historical connections to ancient Pagan and Christian traditions and are believed to serve as a way to ward off evil spirits, mark the end of the harvest season, and remember the dead.

The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the darker half of the year. During this time, it was believed that the boundary between the living and the dead narrowed, allowing spirits to roam the earth more freely. This notion was later incorporated into early Christian observances, giving birth to All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. Immigrants from Ireland and Scotland helped popularize Halloween in the United States in the 19th century by bringing their customs and traditions with them.

In the United States today, Halloween is primarily observed through various activities that have become commercialized and transformed into a secular celebration. The most common ways Americans mark the occasion are by dressing up in costumes, attending parties, visiting haunted attractions, and going door-to-door to collect candy from neighbors. These practices represent a blend of ancient and modern customs and highlight the cultural significance of the holiday in America. Halloween occurs annually on October 31st.

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Halloween facts

  • According to Google Trends’ , the top Halloween costumes of 2023 include Barbie, Spiderman, and Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family.
  • In early Celtic celebrations, turnips or other root vegetables were used in place of pumpkins. A burning lump of coal was placed inside the hollowed out vegetable and carried during the festivities.
  • According to the National Retail Federation, more than 70% of Americans actively celebrate Halloween.
  • Dressing up in costumes dates back to the Middle Ages when poor folks would dress up and go door-to-door on Hallowmas (November 1st), receiving food in exchange for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2).
  • The Guinness Book of World Record holder for the heaviest pumpkin was attained in October 2011 with a pumpkin weighing in at 1,818 lbs. 5 oz.

Top things to do in the US for Halloween

  • Dress up in your favorite costume.
  • Go trick-or-treating.
  • Bob for apples.
  • Go to a haunted house.
  • Watch scary movies all night long.

Halloween references and related sites

Guinness World Records: Heaviest Pumpkin

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