1. Bobbing for apples
Although this is a popular game that kids and adults play at Halloween, it actually started as a British courting ritual. Every male was assigned an apple and then the young eligible ladies would bob for them, hoping to grab the apple of their beloved.
The largest squash on record to-date belonged to Joel Jarvis from Port Elgin, Ontario. His prize-winning gourd weighed 1,486.6 pounds. Think about how much butternut squash soup could be made with that!
3. Candy corn
Did you know that this beloved Halloween treat has it’s very own day that should be celebrated every year? Candy Corn Day will fall on Sunday, October 30 this year, so that means eat as much as you can to celebrate. Also, there is now candy corn for basically every holiday, including Reindeer Corn for Christmas, Cupid Corn for Valentine’s Day and Bunny Corn for Easter.
When leaves change colour in the fall, they are actually becoming their true colour. In the summer, the chlorophyll (which is how the leaves receive nourishment from the sun) takes over and causes them to turn green and hide their colour.
Pumpkins are grown all over the world: six of seven continents (all except Antarctica), to be exact. Love pumpkin pie? The largest ever made was in New Bremen, Ohio—it was 20 feet in diameter and weighed 3,699 pounds! It took days to bake, but was cut into 5,000 slices when it was finished.
Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween. Orange represents strength and endurance, whereas black is the symbol of darkness and reminds us that Halloween was once a festival about life and death. The first known instance (in print) of trick-or-treating took place in Blackie, Alberta in 1927. Many countries, however, such as Australia and France, don’t celebrate Halloween because they see it as an overly-commercial American tradition.
The mythological origins of the cornucopia have to do with baby Zeus, who had to be hidden from his devouring father, Kronus. Zeus was put in a cave on Mount Ida to be cared for and protected by Amalthea, the goddess of nourishment. Zeus accidentally broke one of her horns, which then had the divine power to provide unending nourishment. This later had been associate with the cornucopia of Thanksgiving and harvest.
The world’s tallest tree, named Hyperion, measures more than 360 feet. It’s a coast redwood and is located in California. Just to give you an idea of how tall that is, the tree is only a few feet shorter than the Empire State Building! The oldest (documented) tree, named Prometheus, was 5,200 years old and grew in Nevada, USA.
Not everyone believes in ghosts and kids might only know of Casper, the friendly ghost, but there are many haunted places you can visit that are home to real-live ghosts (or so people say!). To name a few there is Keg Mansion in Toronto, the Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria and the Ottawa Jail Hostel, where people claim to hear voices and see the dead. Spooky!
The one night a year where taking candy from strangers is totally acceptable is also a very expensive one. Each year, more and more people are handing out candy, and each house gives about two handfuls per kid—thats four to eight pieces of yumminess (sometimes including full-size chocolate bars)! Americans spend about $2.1 billion on Halloween candy. That’s a lot of Reese’s Pieces.
Keep the kids busy with these 50 awesome fall activities:
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1. Jump into a pile of leaves
Nothing beats jumping into a huge pile of freshly-raked leaves.