Pumpkin Facts

Here are some interesting facts about pumpkins.

  • Native Americans ate pumpkins long before the Pilgrims landed, and they were used in Mexico as long ago as 7,000 BC.
  • The name ‘pumpkin’ comes from the Greek for large melon.

  • The pumpkin is a member of the cucumber and squash family, and is considered to be a fruit as it has seeds. They are grown in every continent except Antarctica.
  • Pumpkins can be yellow, green, red or white as well as orange. They have both male and female flowers, and bees transfer the pollen between the plants.
  • Morton, Illinois in the US is known for its annual pumpkin festival, held annually since the early 1900s. One of the most popular events involves throwing a pumpkin as far as possible.
  • Pumpkins contain 90 percent water, as well as Vitamin A and potassium. The flowers of the pumpkin fruit are edible and the seeds can be planted to grow a new fruit.
  • One of the heaviest pumpkins ever grown weighed 821 kg. In 2010, a pumpkin pie weighing 1664 kg and measuring almost 8 metres across, was baked.
  • Pumpkins are used to make soups and breads, as well as pies. In Colonial America, they were used for the pie crust instead of the filling, and Native Americans used dried pumpkin for floor mats.
  • About 80 percent of all pumpkins are produced and sold during the few weeks leading up to Halloween. After Christmas, Halloween is the most commercially successful holiday in the United States.
  • The ancient Celts carved gourds or turnips, and later pumpkins, to protect against evil spirits. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, where Jack O’Lanterns became part of Halloween celebrations.
  • Native Americans used the seeds for both food and medicine. At one time, they were used for curing snake bites, removing freckles and they are used today to treat skin diseases and other ailments.

Halloween Facts

Here are some facts about Halloween.

  • Halloween is celebrated on October 31st and is a shortening of All Hallows’ Eve. It has its origins in Celtic culture when the day celebrated the end of the harvest.
  • In the US, it is the most commercially successful holiday after Christmas. European immigrants introduced many Halloween traditions to America.

  • Children are 50 percent more likely to be killed or injured by traffic on October 31st, than on any other night.
  • The fear of Halloween is known as samhainophobia.
  • Halloween is also celebrated around the world. It is popular in the UK, China, Japan, Brazil, Greece and Romania.
  • Halloween is especially popular in Ireland, when children dress as creatures from the underworld. Trick or treating is also popular and October 31st is the busiest night of the year for the police.
  • The colours orange and black are often associated with Halloween. Orange originally signified the autumn harvest, while black was associated with darkness and the line between life and death.
  • Trick or treating began in Ireland, when children would visit homes and tell rhymes for rewards.
  • In 8th century Britain, poor people went begging from door to door on Halloween.
  • The 1978 film Halloween is considered to be a horror classic. It was made on a tight budget, with the actors wearing their own clothes and helping with odd jobs.
  • The ancient Celts first wore masks and costumes on October 31st, so they would not be recognized by wandering ghosts. Bonfires were lit to ensure the sun would return next year.
  • Jack O’Lanterns were originally made from turnips, but are now made out of pumpkins. They are supposedly named after a mean man named Jack who was condemned to wander the earth waving his lantern to mislead people.
  • Nearly 19,000 tons of pumpkins are sold in the US and UK every Halloween season.