Profile America — Monday, October 31st. Beware — it’s Halloween, or more properly, all Hallow’s Eve, the day before the feast of all saints. According to Celtic tradition, it’s a time when witches, ghosts and other unsavory characters walk the earth for a day. For years, Halloween was eagerly awaited by youngsters, who would dress up in whatever was handy and make the rounds of the neighborhood, begging for candy with the empty threat “trick or treat!” Now, more formal parties are being held and grown-ups are just as apt to wear a costume as children. Fads come and go, the but the jack-o’-lantern, made from a real pumpkin, remains popular. U.S. farmers grow more than 1 billion pounds of pumpkins a year. Illinois is by far the leading producer, followed by California, New York and Ohio. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.
Sources: Chase’s Calendar of Events 2011, p. 538
U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, CB11-FF.20