- Pumpkins are a fruit that originated in Central America.
- The name “pumpkin” comes from the Greek word “pepon,” meaning a large melon.
- 90% of the pumpkin is made up of water.
- The yellow-orange flowers that bloom from a pumpkin vine are edible.
- Using pumpkins as lanterns at Halloween is based on an ancient Celtic custom brought to America by European immigrants.
- The world’s heaviest pumpkin was grown by Chris Stevens (USA) and was recorded on October 9, 2010 weighing 1,810.5 lbs. (source: Guinness World Records)
- Pumpkins, and their seeds, were a celebrated food of the Native American Indians who treasured them both for their dietary and medicinal properties.
- Illinois grows more pumpkins than any other state in the country. It harvests nearly 12,300 acres of fruit.
- The carving of jack-o’-lanterns originated from the tradition of carving the faces of lost souls into hollowed out pumpkins and turnips. A candle was placed inside the carvings making the faces glow. The Halloween lanterns were placed on doorsteps to ward off evil spirits.
- The fastest time to carve a pumpkin is 16.47 seconds achieved by Stephen Clarke (USA) October 31, 2013 (source: Guinness World Records)
- More than 93 percent of children go trick-or-treating each year. (source: NCA)
- Halloween also is recognized as the 3rd biggest party day after New Year’s and Super Bowl Sunday.
- Trick-or-treating is thought to have its origins in a European custom called souling where people would beg for “soul cakes.”
- There were estimated 36.8 million potential “trick-or-treaters” ages 5-13.
- Legendary magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit from a ruptured appendix on Halloween in 1926.