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Published:September 10th, 2006 10:11 EST
The Observance of Halloween

The Observance of Halloween

By SOP newswire


The observance of Halloween, which dates back to Celtic rituals thousands of years ago, has long been associated with images of witches, ghosts, devils and hobgoblins. In the United States, the first official citywide Halloween celebration occurred in Anoka, Minn., in 1921. Over the years, Halloween customs and rituals have changed dramatically. Today, many of the young and “young-at-heart” take a more light-spirited approach. They don scary disguises or ones that may bring on smiles when they go door-to-door for treats or attend or host a Halloween party.

“Trick or Treat!”
36.1 million

The estimated number of potential “trick-or-treaters” in 2005 — 5- to 13-year-olds — across the United States, which declined by 284,000 from 2004. Of course, many other children — older than 13, and younger than age 5 — also go trick-or-treating. <>

108 million
Number of occupied housing units across the nation — all potential stops for “trick-or-treaters.” <>

Jack O’ Lanterns and Pumpkin Pies
1.1 billion pounds

Total production of major pumpkin-producing states in 2005. Illinois led the country by producing 497 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, Ohio and Pennsylvania also provided lots of pumpkins: each state produced at least 100 million pounds. The value of all pumpkins produced by major pumpkin-producing states was $106 million. <>

Where to Spend Halloween?
Some places around the country that may put you in the Halloween mood are:

Candy and Costumes

Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2004, employing 43,322 people and shipping $12.5 billion worth of goods. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 136, followed by Pennsylvania, with 122.
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Number of U.S. establishments that manufactured nonchocolate confectionary products in 2004. These establishments employed 22,234 people and shipped $7.2 billion worth of goods that year. California also led the nation in this category, with 76 establishments.
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26 pounds
Per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2005; it is believed a large portion is consumed around Halloween. <>

Number of formal wear and costume rental establishments across the nation in 2004. <>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau's Facts for Features series:
African-American History Month (February)
Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
 Back to School (August)
Labor Day (Sept. 4)
Women's History Month (March) Grandparents Day (Sept. 10)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
   St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
 Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Halloween (Oct. 31)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
Older Americans Month (May)
 American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage
   Month (November)
Mother's Day (May 14) Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Father's Day (June 18) Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23)
The Fourth of July (July 4)  The Holiday Season (December)
Anniversary of Americans
   with Disabilities Act (July 26)

Editor’s note: Some of the preceding data were collected in surveys and, therefore, are subject to sampling error. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-457-3670; or e-mail: <>.

SOURCE:  US Census Bureau