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THE "FRIGHTENING" FACTS ABOUT HALLOWEEN

 THE "FRIGHTENING" FACTS ABOUT HALLOWEEN
 CLEVELAND, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Ever wonder how Halloween


originated? In the "spirit" of the season, American Greetings offers the following facts to help you "scare" up some fun at your next Halloween party:
 CELTS, DRUIDS AND DISEMBODIED SPIRITS -- Halloween was first celebrated in Ireland in the fifth century B.C. On the night of Oct. 31, Celtic households extinguished fires on their hearths to make their homes undesirable to disembodied spirits.
 They gathered outside the village where a Druid priest built a bonfire to honor the sun god for the summer's harvest and to ward off spirits.
 HALLOWEEN BECOMES FUN -- Over time, as the belief in spirit possession waned, Halloween practices lost their sinister meaning and became simply a form of ritualized mischief.
 HALLOWEEN IN THE U.S. -- Widespread observance of Halloween did not occur in the U.S. until the great Irish immigration during the potato famine.
 RUTABAGA JACK O'LANTERNS -- The custom of jack o'lanterns originated in Ireland. The first jack o'lanterns were carved from oversized rutabagas, turnips and potatoes. Pumpkins were not available in Ireland.
 A LOT OF CARDS -- The first Halloween greeting cards appeared in 1908. This year, an estimated 28 million will be exchanged. Humorous cards for adults are growing in popularity. A typical American Greetings card reads: "A bite on the neck might be quite continental, but demons are a ghoul's best fiend. Happy Halloween!"
 HALLOWEEN PARTIES -- Halloween is no longer just for kids. This year, one out of every three adults will either attend or throw a Halloween party. An estimated $400 million will be spent on costumes, with adults accounting for 25 percent of the sales.
 -0- 10/8/92
 /CONTACT: Laurie Henrichsen, marketing/public relations coordinator for American Greetings, 216-252-4943/ CO: American Greetings Corporation ST: Ohio IN: REA SU:


SM -- NYHFNS11 -- 7691 10/08/92 06:56 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 8, 1992
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