Mind Boggling Stats About Internet Usage In 2009

If you wanna see some mind-boggling numbers about internet usage, on a global scale, and all statistics and figures relating to the world wide web, you should definitely check out a website called Pingdom. They have recently put together an astounding, eye-opening post, that pretty much sums up the current ‘state of the internet’ during this past year, 2009. Statistics are compiled by-the-numbers with sources included. Prepare yourself for sensory overload!

Some examples include the following staggering statistics…..

  • 90 trillion e-mails were sent during 2009 over the net
  • 234 million websites exist on the web as of December 2009
  • 126 million blogs and counting
  • YouTube serves 1 billion movies per day
  • And much more!

The FULL POST can be found at this link > Internet 2009 in numbers

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What happened with the Internet in 2009?

A wide variety of sources were used in collecting data from around the Web. For those interested, a full list of sources used for this reference can be found at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy! 🙂

Email

  • 90 trillion – The number of emails sent on the Internet in 2009.
  • 247 billion – Average number of email messages per day.
  • 1.4 billion – The number of email users worldwide.
  • 100 million – New email users since the year before.
  • 81% – The percentage of emails that were spam.
  • 92% – Peak spam levels late in the year.
  • 24% – Increase in spam since last year.
  • 200 billion – The number of spam emails per day (assuming 81% are spam).

Websites

  • 234 million – The number of websites as of December 2009.
  • 47 million – Added websites in 2009.

Web Servers

  • 13.9% – The growth of Apache websites in 2009.
  • -22.1% – The growth of IIS websites in 2009.
  • 35.0% – The growth of Google GFE websites in 2009.
  • 384.4% – The growth of Nginx websites in 2009.
  • -72.4% – The growth of Lighttpd websites in 2009.

Domain Names

  • 81.8 million – .COM domain names at the end of 2009.
  • 12.3 million – .NET domain names at the end of 2009.
  • 7.8 million – .ORG domain names at the end of 2009.
  • 76.3 million – The number of country code top-level domains (e.g. .CN, .UK, .DE, etc.).
  • 187 million – The number of domain names across all top-level domains (October 2009).
  • 8% – The increase in domain names since the year before.

Internet Users

  • 1.73 billion – Internet users worldwide (September 2009).
  • 18% – Increase in Internet users since the previous year.
  • 738,257,230 – Internet users in Asia.
  • 418,029,796 – Internet users in Europe.
  • 252,908,000 – Internet users in North America.
  • 179,031,479 – Internet users in Latin America / Caribbean.
  • 67,371,700 – Internet users in Africa.
  • 57,425,046 – Internet users in the Middle East.
  • 20,970,490 – Internet users in Oceania / Australia.

Social Media

  • 126 million – The number of blogs on the Internet (as tracked by BlogPulse).
  • 84% – Percent of social network sites with more women than men.
  • 27.3 million – Number of tweets on Twitter per day (November, 2009)
  • 57% – Percentage of Twitter’s user base located in the United States.
  • 4.25 million – People following @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher, Twitter’s most followed user).
  • 350 million – People on Facebook.
  • 50% – Percentage of Facebook users that log in every day.
  • 500,000 – The number of active Facebook applications.

Images

  • 4 billion – Photos hosted by Flickr (October 2009).
  • 2.5 billion – Photos uploaded each month to Facebook.
  • 30 billion – At the current rate, the number of photos uploaded to Facebook per year.

Videos

  • 1 billion – The total number of videos YouTube serves in one day.
  • 12.2 billion – Videos viewed per month on YouTube in the US (November 2009).
  • 924 million – Videos viewed per month on Hulu in the US (November 2009).
  • 182 – The number of online videos the average Internet user watches in a month (USA).
  • 82% – Percentage of Internet users that view videos online (USA).
  • 39.4% – YouTube online video market share (USA).
  • 81.9% – Percentage of embedded videos on blogs that are YouTube videos.

Malicious Software

  • 148,000 – New zombie computers created per day (used in botnets for sending spam, etc.)
  • 2.6 million – Amount of malicious code threats at the start of 2009 (viruses, trojans, etc.)
  • 921,143 – The number of new malicious code signatures added by Symantec in Q4 2009.

Data sources: Website and web server stats from Netcraft. Domain name stats from Verisign and Webhosting.info. Internet user stats from Internet World Stats. Web browser stats from Net Applications. Email stats from Radicati Group. Spam stats from McAfee. Malware stats from Symantec (and here) and McAfee. Online video stats from Comscore, Sysomos and YouTube. Photo stats from Flickr and Facebook. Social media stats from BlogPulse, Pingdom (here and here), Twittercounter, Facebook and GigaOm.

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Check out the full post at the link below:

The FULL POST can be found at this link > Internet 2009 in numbers

How Much Do You Really Know About Earthquakes?

How Much Do You Really Know About Earthquakes?

Do you think that the region of the country or world where you live in is immune from earthquake or seismic activity? Think again – Believe it or not earthquakes are very widespread and not just limited to certain geographical regions around the United States or around the world. Their frequency is also much more common than you may think. Earthquakes occur just about everywhere – or at least, it seems that way – Temblors happen on all continents and beneath the deep oceans. They shake the world’s highest mountains, the Himalayas, and the Earth’s deepest valley, the Dead Sea. Even from under the ice caps of both polar regions, seismometers regularly record rumblings in the Earth’s crust.

Seismic activity-prone areas of the world

Read on and discover some interesting facts and figures about those “helpless feeling” and “earth-shaking” phenomenons known as earthquakes. What you learn may surprise you. If any of this  sparks your interest any further, make sure to check out the links that follow for more  scientific and detailed information, charts and graphs.

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Earthquake Facts

  • The largest recorded earthquake in the United States was a magnitude 9.2 that struck Prince William Sound, Alaska on Good Friday, March 28, 1964.
  • The largest recorded earthquake in the world was a magnitude 9.5 in Chile on May 22, 1960.
  • The earliest reported earthquake in California was felt in 1769 by the exploring expedition of Gaspar de Portola while the group was camping about 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
  • Before electronics allowed recordings of large earthquakes, scientists built large spring-pendulum seismometers in an attempt to record the long-period motion produced by such quakes. The largest one weighed about 15 tons. There is a medium-sized one three stories high in Mexico City that is still in operation.
  • The average rate of motion across the San Andreas Fault Zone during the past 3 million years is 2 inches per year. This is about the same rate at which your fingernails grow. Assuming this rate continues, scientists project that Los Angeles and San Francisco will be adjacent to one another in approximately 15 million years.
  • The East African Rift System is a 31-37 mile wide zone of active volcanic and faults that extends north-south in eastern Africa for 1864 miles from Ethiopia in the north to Zambezi in the south. It is a rare example of an active continental rift zone, where a continental plate is attempting to split into two plates which are moving away from one another.
  • The first “pendulum seismoscope” to measure the shaking of the ground during an earthquake was developed in 1751, and it wasn’t until 1855 that faults were recognized as the source of earthquakes.
  • Moonquakes (“earthquakes” on the moon) do occur, but they happen less frequently and have smaller magnitudes than earthquakes on the Earth. It appears they are related to the tidal stresses associated with the varying distance between the Earth and Moon. They also occur at great depth, about halfway between the surface and the center of the moon.
  • Although both are sea waves, a tsunami and a tidal wave are two different unrelated phenomena. A tidal wave is a shallow water wave caused by the gravitational interactions between the Sun, Moon, and Earth. A tsunami is a sea wave caused by an underwater earthquake or landslide (usually triggered by an earthquake) displacing the ocean water.
  • The hypocenter of an earthquake is the location beneath the earth’s surface where the rupture of the fault begins. The epicenter of an earthquake is the location directly above the hypocenter on the surface of the earth.
  • The world’s greatest land mountain range is the Himalaya-Karakoram. It contains 96 of the world’s 109 peaks of over 24,000 feet. The longest range is the Andes of South America which is 4700 miles in length. Both were created by the movement of tectonic plates.
  • It is estimated that there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year. About 100,000 of those can be felt, and approximately 100 of them cause damage.
  • It is thought that more damage was done by the resulting fire after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake than by the earthquake itself.
  • A seiche (pronounced SAYSH) is what happens in the swimming pools of Californians during and after an earthquake. It is “an internal wave oscillating in a body of water” or, in other words, it is the sloshing of the water in your swimming pool, or any body of water, caused by the ground shaking in an earthquake. It may continue for a few moments or a few hours, long after the generating force is gone. A seiche can also be caused by wind or tides.
  • Each year the southern California area has about 10,000 earthquakes. Most of them are so small that they are not felt. Only several hundred are greater than magnitude 3.0, and only about 15-20 are greater than magnitude 4.0. If there is a large earthquake, however, the aftershock sequence will produce many more earthquakes of all magnitudes for many months.
  • The magnitude of an earthquake is a measured value of the earthquake size. The magnitude is the same no matter where you are, or how strong or weak the shaking was in various locations. The intensity of an earthquake is a measure of the shaking created by the earthquake, and this value does vary with location.
  • The Wasatch Range, with its outstanding ski areas, runs North-South through Utah, and like all mountain ranges it was produced by a series of earthquakes. The 240-mile-long Wasatch Fault is made up of several segments, each capable of producing up to a magnitude 7.5 earthquake. During the past 6,000 years, there has been a magnitude 6.5+ about once every 350 years, and it has been about 350 years since the last powerful earthquake, which was on the Nephi segment.
  • There is no such thing as “earthquake weather”. Statistically, there is an equal distribution of earthquakes in cold weather, hot weather, rainy weather, etc. Furthermore, there is no physical way that the weather could affect the forces several miles beneath the surface of the earth. The changes in barometric pressure in the atmosphere are very small compared to the forces in the crust, and the effect of the barometric pressure does not reach beneath the soil.
  • From 1975-1995 there were only four states that did not have any earthquakes. They were: Florida, Iowa, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
  • The core of the earth was the first internal structural element to be identified. In 1906 R.D. Oldham discovered it from his studies of earthquake records. The inner core is solid, and the outer core is liquid and so does not transmit the shear wave energy released during an earthquake.
  • The swimming pool at the University of Arizona in Tucson lost water from sloshing (seiche) caused by the 1985 magnitude 8.1 Michoacan, Mexico earthquake 1240 miles away.
  • Earthquakes occur in the central portion of the United States too! Some very powerful earthquakes occurred along the New Madrid Fault in the Mississippi Valley in 1811-1812. Because of the crustal structure in the Central US which efficiently propagates seismic energy, shaking from earthquakes in this part of the country are felt at a much greater distance from the epicenters than similar size quakes in the Western US.
  • Most earthquakes occur at depths of less than 50 miles from the Earth’s surface.
  • The San Andreas Fault is NOT a single, continuous fault, but rather is actually a fault zone made up of many segments. Movement may occur along any of the many fault segments along the zone at any time. The San Andreas fault system is more that 800 miles long, and in some spots is as much as 10 miles deep.
  • The world’s deadliest recorded earthquake occurred in 1556 in central China. It struck a region where most people lived in caves carved from soft rock. These dwellings collapsed during the earthquake, killing an estimated 830,000 people. In 1976 another deadly earthquake struck in Tangshan, China, where more than 250,000 people were killed.
  • Florida and North Dakota have the smallest number of earthquakes in the United States.
  • The deepest earthquakes typically occur at plate boundaries where the Earth”s crust is being subducted into the Earth’s mantle. These occur as deep as 400 miles below the surface.
  • Alaska is the most earthquake-prone state and one of the most seismically active regions in the world. Alaska experiences a magnitude 7 earthquake almost every year, and a magnitude 8 or greater earthquake on average every 14 years.
  • The majority of the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur along plate boundaries such as the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American plate. One of the most active plate boundaries where earthquakes and eruptions are frequent, for example, is around the massive Pacific Plate commonly referred to as the Pacific Ring of Fire.
  • The earliest recorded evidence of an earthquake has been traced back to 1831 BC in the Shandong province of China, but there is a fairly complete record starting in 780 BC during the Zhou Dynasty in China.
  • It was recognized as early as 350 BC by the Greek scientist Aristotle that soft ground shakes more than hard rock in an earthquake.
  • The cause of earthquakes was stated correctly in 1760 by British engineer John Michell, one of the first fathers of seismology, in a memoir where he wrote that earthquakes and the waves of energy that they make are caused by “shifting masses of rock miles below the surface”.
  • In 1663 the European settlers experienced their first earthquake in America.
  • Human beings can detect sounds in the frequency range 20-10,000 Hertz. If a P wave refracts out of the rock surface into the air, and it has a frequency in the audible range, it will be heard as a rumble. Most earthquake waves have a frequency of less than 20 Hz, so the waves themselves are usually not heard. Most of the rumbling noise heard during an earthquake is the building and its contents moving.
  • When the Chilean earthquake occurred in 1960, seismographs recorded seismic waves that traveled all around the Earth. These seismic waves shook the entire earth for many days! This phenomenon is called the free oscillation of the Earth.
  • The interior of Antarctica has “icequakes” which, although they are much smaller, are perhaps more frequent than earthquakes in Antarctica. The icequakes are similar to earthquakes, but occur within the ice sheet itself instead of the land underneath the ice. Some of our polar observers have told us they can hear the icequakes and see them on the South Pole seismograph station, but they are much too small to be seen on enough stations to obtain a location.

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Deadliest Earthquakes on Record

(50,000 deaths or more)

The following table lists the deadliest earthquakes on record according to date, location, number of deaths, and magnitude. On Jan. 23, 1556, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Shansi, China killing 830,000 people.

Date Location Deaths Magnitude
Jan. 23, 1556 Shansi, China 830,000 ~8
July 27, 1976 Tangshan, China 255,0001 7.5
Aug. 9, 1138 Aleppo, Syria 230,000 n.a.
Dec. 26, 2004 off west coast of northern Sumatra 225,000+ 9.0
Dec. 22, 8562 Damghan, Iran 200,000 n.a.
May 22, 1927 near Xining, Tsinghai, China 200,000 7.9
Dec. 16, 1920 Gansu, China 200,000 7.8
March 23, 8932 Ardabil, Iran 150,000 n.a.
Sept. 1, 1923 Kwanto, Japan 143,000 7.9
Oct. 5, 1948 Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, USSR 110,000 7.3
Dec. 28, 1908 Messina, Italy 70,000–
100,0003
7.2
Sept. 1290 Chihli, China 100,000 n.a.
May 12, 2008 Eastern Sichuan, China 87,587 7.9
Oct. 8, 2005 Pakistan 80,361 7.6
Nov. 1667 Shemakha, Caucasia 80,000 n.a.
Nov. 18, 1727 Tabriz, Iran 77,000 n.a.
Dec. 25, 1932 Gansu, China 70,000 7.6
Nov. 1, 1755 Lisbon, Portugal 70,000 8.7
May 31, 1970 Peru 66,000 7.9
May 30, 1935 Quetta, Pakistan 30,000–
60,000
7.5
Jan. 11, 1693 Sicily, Italy 60,000 n.a.
12684 Silicia, Asia Minor 60,000 n.a.
June 20, 1990 Iran 50,000 7.7
Feb. 4, 1783 Calabria, Italy 50,000 n.a.
1. Official. Estimated death toll as high as 655,000.
2. Note that these dates are prior to A.D. 1000. No digit is missing.
3. Estimated.
4. No date available.
Source: National Earthquake Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey. Data compiled from several sources.

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UPDATED……….

Recent Earthquake In Haiti

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.0 struck the island nation of Haiti. Its epicenter was near Léogâne, which is about 16 miles west of the capital city of Port-au-Prince, at a depth of 8.1 miles. A series of at least 33 aftershocks, with 14 of them ranging between 5.0 and 5.9 magnitudes were recorded by the United States Geological Survey. The International Red Cross estimated that about three million people were affected by the quake, and the Haitian Interior Minister, Paul Antoine Bien-Aimé, believes that 200,000 people or more may have died as a result of the disaster.

The earthquake caused major damage to Port-au-Prince. Most major landmarks were significantly damaged or destroyed, including the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, as well as most area hospitals. The United Nations (UN) reported that the headquarters of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), located in the capital, had collapsed and that the Mission’s Chief, Hédi Annabi, his deputy, Luiz Carlos da Costa, and the acting police commissioner were confirmed dead. Because the organizational structures in Haiti have been destroyed, this is considered the worst disaster that the UN has ever been confronted with.

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The Ten Largest1 Earthquakes Since 1900

Location Date Magnitude2
1. Chile May 22, 1960 9.5
2. Prince William Sound, Alaska March 28, 19643 9.2
3. Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands March 9, 1957 9.1
4. Kamchatka Nov. 4, 1952 9.0
5. Off western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia Dec. 26, 2004 9.0
6. Off the coast of Ecuador Jan. 31, 1906 8.8
7. Rat Islands, Aleutian Islands Feb. 4, 1965 8.7
8. Northern Sumatra, Indonesia March 28, 2005 8.7
9. India-China border Aug. 15, 1950 8.6
10. Kamchatka Feb. 3, 1923 8.5
1. In terms of magnitude.
2. Moment magnitude.
3. March 28, 03:36:14 UT (March 27, 5:36 P.M. local time)
Source: National Earthquake Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey.

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UPDATED……….

Recent Earthquake In Chile

On Saturday, February 27, 1010, a powerful 8.8 magnitude occurred just off the coast of Chile at 03:34 local time (06:34 UTC), and lasting for about three minutes. Cities experiencing the strongest shaking included Concepcion (just 71 miles away and Chile’s 2nd largest city with a population of about 670,000), Temuco with extensive damage as well as the capital and largest city of Santiago (197 miles northeast, population of over 6 million in the metro area). Tsunami warnings were issued in 53 countries, and a tsunami was recorded, with amplitude of up to 8 ft 6 inches high, on the coast at Valparaíso, Chile. Chilean President ,Michelle Bachelet, declared a “state of catastrophe”. She also confirmed the deaths of at least 708 people – 723 at last update – which is sure to still climb higher over the next few days as more debris is removed. Many more people have not been accounted for or have been reported missing. More than half a million homes were destroyed in an event in which scientists declared was 500 times stronger than the earthquake in Haiti just six weeks earlier. The epicenter of the earthquake was offshore in the Maule Region, which is about 5 miles west of Curanipe and 71 miles northeast of Chile’s second largest city, Concepción. The earthquake also caused seiches to occur in Lake Pontchartrain to the north of New Orleans, United States, located nearly 4,700 miles from the epicenter of the quake. The Virgin Islands, Guam, American Somoa as well as Hawaii were all on high alert for the potential of a Tsunami. Alerts were issued and many local beaches were closed up and down the Pacific Coast region of Baja California, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

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The Largest Earthquakes in the United States

The following table lists the largest earthquakes in the United States on record, according to rank, magnitude, date, and location. The largest earthquake to hit the U.S. was on March 28, 1964, when a 9.2 magnitude quake struck Prince William Sound in Alaska.

Rank Magnitude Date Location
1. 9.2 March 28, 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska1
2. 8.8 March 9, 1957 Andreanof Islands, Alaska
3. 8.7 Feb. 4, 1965 Rat Islands, Alaska
4. 8.3 Nov. 10, 1938 East of Shumagin Islands, Alaska
8.3 July 10, 1958 Lituya Bay, Alaska
6. 8.2 Sept. 10, 1899 Yakutat Bay, Alaska
8.2 Sept. 4, 1899 Near Cape Yakataga, Alaska
8. 8.0 May 7, 1986 Andreanof Islands, Alaska
9. 7.9 Feb. 7, 1812 New Madrid, Missouri
7.9 Jan. 9, 1857 Fort Tejon, California
7.9 April 3, 1868 Ka’u District, Island of Hawaii
7.9 Oct. 9, 1900 Kodiak Island, Alaska
7.9 Nov. 30, 1987 Gulf of Alaska
7.9 Nov. 3, 2002 Central Alaska
15. 7.8 March 26, 1872 Owens Valley, California
7.8 Feb. 24, 1892 Imperial Valley, California
7.8 Nov. 17, 2003 Rat Island, Alaska
17. 7.7 Dec. 16, 1811 New Madrid, Missouri area
7.7 April 18, 1906 San Francisco, California
7.7 Oct. 3, 1915 Pleasant Valley, Nevada
20. 7.6 Jan. 23, 1812 New Madrid, Missouri
7.6 June 28, 1992 Landers, California
22. 7.5 July 21, 1952 Kern County, California
23. 7.3 Nov. 4, 1927 West of Lompoc, California
7.3 Dec. 16, 1954 Dixie Valley, Nevada
7.3 Aug. 18, 1959 Hebgen Lake, Montana
7.3 Oct. 28, 1983 Borah Peak, Idaho

1. March 28, 03:36:14 UT (March 27, 5:36 P.M. local time)
Source: National Earthquake Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey

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* This article was originally posted on this site 12/5/2009

* Revised, updated and re-posted on 1/18/2010

* Updated once again on 3/1/2010

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Links for additional information, maps and recent seismic activity:

Flags of the World

Flags of the World

Here is a relatively current list of countries around the world along side their national flag, as well as their official two-letter designation that is displayed in the Flag Counter (statistic log) seen in the right side panel below. Along side each flag is a clickable link for additional information including, history, geography, government, politics, economy, maps and other facts and figures about each country – check it out and be a little more worldly-wise … courtesy of Flag Counter.

AD Andorra
AF Afghanistan
AG Antigua and Barbuda
AI Anguilla
AL Albania
AM Armenia
AN Netherlands Antilles
AO Angola
AQ Antarctica
AR Argentina
AS American Samoa
AT Austria
AU Australia
AW Aruba
AZ Azerbaijan
BA Bosnia and Herzegovina
BB Barbados
BD Bangladesh
BE Belgium
BF Burkina Faso
BG Bulgaria
BH Bahrain
BI Burundi
BJ Benin
BM Bermuda
BN Brunei
BO Bolivia
BR Brazil
BS The Bahamas
BT Bhutan
BV Bouvet Island
BW Botswana
BY Belarus
BZ Belize
CA Canada
CC Cocos (Keeling) Islands
CD Democratic Republic of the Congo
CF Central African Republic
CG Congo (Brazzaville)
CH Switzerland
CI Cote d’Ivoire
CK Cook Islands
CL Chile
CM Cameroon
CN China
CO Colombia
CR Costa Rica
CU Cuba
CV Cape Verde
CX Christmas Island
CY Cyprus
CZ Czech Republic
DE Germany
DJ Djibouti
DK Denmark
DM Dominica
DO The Dominican
DZ Algeria
EC Ecuador
EE Estonia
EG Egypt
EH Western Sahara
ER Eritrea
ES Spain
ET Ethiopia
FI Finland
FJ Fiji
FK Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
FM Federated States of Micronesia
FO Faroe Islands
FR France
GA Gabon
GB United Kingdom
GD Grenada
GE Georgia
GG Guernsey
GH Ghana
GI Gibraltar
GL Greenland
GM The Gambia
GN Guinea
GQ Equatorial Guinea
GR Greece
GS South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
GT Guatemala
GU Guam
GW Guinea-Bissau
GY Guyana
HK Hong Kong
HM Heard Island and McDonald Islands
HN Honduras
HR Croatia
HT Haiti
HU Hungary
ID Indonesia
IE Ireland
IL Israel
IM Isle of Man
IN India
IO British Indian Ocean Territory
IQ Iraq
IR Iran
IS Iceland
IT Italy
JE Jersey
JM Jamaica
JO Jordan
JP Japan
KE Kenya
KG Kyrgyzstan
KH Cambodia
KI Kiribati
KM Comoros
KN Saint Kitts and Nevis
KP North Korea
KR South Korea
KW Kuwait
KY Cayman Islands
KZ Kazakhstan
LA Laos
LB Lebanon
LC Saint Lucia
LI Liechtenstein
LK Sri Lanka
LR Liberia
LS Lesotho
LT Lithuania
LU Luxembourg
LV Latvia
LY Libya
MA Morocco
MC Monaco
MD Moldova
ME Montenegro
MG Madagascar
MH Marshall Islands
MK Macedonia
ML Mali
MM Burma
MN Mongolia
MO Macau
MP Northern Mariana Islands
MR Mauritania
MS Montserrat
MT Malta
MU Mauritius
MV Maldives
MW Malawi
MX Mexico
MY Malaysia
MZ Mozambique
NA Namibia
NC New Caledonia
NE Niger
NF Norfolk Island
NG Nigeria
NI Nicaragua
NL Netherlands
NO Norway
NP Nepal
NR Nauru
NU Niue
NZ New Zealand
OM Oman
PA Panama
PE Peru
PF French Polynesia
PG Papua New Guinea
PH Philippines
PK Pakistan
PL Poland
PM Saint Pierre and Miquelon
PN Pitcairn Islands
PR Puerto Rico
PS Gaza Strip
PT Portugal
PW Palau
PY Paraguay
QA Qatar
RO Romania
RS Serbia
RU Russia
RW Rwanda
SA Saudi Arabia
SB Solomon Islands
SC Seychelles
SD Sudan
SE Sweden
SG Singapore
SH Saint Helena
SI Slovenia
SJ Svalbard (sometimes referred to as Spitzbergen)
SK Slovakia
SL Sierra Leone
SM San Marino
SN Senegal
SO Somalia
SR Suriname
ST Sao Tome and Principe
SV El Salvador
SY Syria
SZ Swaziland
TC Turks and Caicos Islands
TD Chad
TF French Southern and Antarctic Lands
TG Togo
TH Thailand
TJ Tajikistan
TK Tokelau
TL Timor-Leste
TM Turkmenistan
TN Tunisia
TO Tonga
TR Turkey
TT Trinidad and Tobago
TV Tuvalu
TW Taiwan
TZ Tanzania
UA Ukraine
UG Uganda
US United States
UY Uruguay
UZ Uzbekistan
VA Holy See (Vatican City)
VC Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
VE Venezuela
VG British Virgin Islands
VI Virgin Islands
VN Vietnam
VU Vanuatu
WF Wallis and Futuna
WS Samoa
YE Yemen
YT Mayotte
ZA South Africa
ZM Zambia
ZW Zimbabwe

Thanksgiving Facts Legends Myths & Traditions

You are about to discover a lot of fascinating facts, legends, myths and traditions associated with Thanksgiving. Some you may already be familiar with – while others you may learn a thing or two about one of America’s most well-known and favorite holidays. The following may overwhelm you but should definitely answer just about everything you wanted or needed to know about Thanksgiving.  With all this newly acquired knowledge and information, you can impress and ‘wow’ your family, relatives and friends at the Thanksgiving feast/table. You just might want to include plans for some exercise the next day as the average American eats a day and a half worth of calories in one meal. It’s probably a good idea to join the holiday shopping rush on Black Friday – about 10 hours should do it!  Shopping burns approximately 300 calories an hour!

Bon Appetite & Good Luck 😛

Nowadays, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States, but not always. Now let’s take a closer look on Thanksgiving facts, legends, myths and traditions…..

What We Eat

  • Americans feast on 535 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving.
  • According the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the United States at Thanksgiving. That number represents one sixth of all the turkeys sold in the U.S. each year!
  • The average person consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. (Now that’s a lot of turkey!)
  • The cranberry got its name because the pale pink blossoms on the plant resembled a crane’s head and neck. The name cranberry stuck, eventually becoming cranberry.
  • Fresh cranberries are ideal for cranberry sauce. Cranberries of the highest quality will always bounce! (Make sure you wash the cranberries before eating if you try this at home!)

The Living Turkey

  • Domesticated turkeys cannot fly, however wild turkeys can fly up to 55 miles per hour over short distances.
  • Only male (‘tom’) turkeys gobble. Females make a clicking noise. The famous gobble is actually a seasonal mating call.
  • The heaviest turkey ever raised weighed in at 86 pounds – about the size of a German Shepherd! (But turkeys are normally not used as police animals.)
  • A turkey under 16 weeks of age is called a ‘fryer’. A five to seven month old turkey is called a ‘roaster’.
  • The Turkey Trot, a ballroom dance in the 1900s, was named for the short, jerky steps of the turkey. It became popular mainly because it was denounced by the Vatican as “suggestive.”
  • Turkeys can drown if they look up when it’s raining!
  • A spooked turkey can run at speeds up to 20 miles per hour. They can also burst into flight approaching speeds between 50-55 mph in a matter of seconds.
  • A wild turkey has excellent vision and hearing. Their field of vision is about 270 degrees… one of the main reasons they continue to elude some hunters.
  • Turkeys spend the night in trees. They fly to their roosts around sunset.
  • Turkeys fly to the ground at first light and feed until mid-morning. Feeding resumes in mid-afternoon.
  • Gobbling starts before sunrise and can continue through most of the morning.
  • Turkeys are able to adapt to a wide variety of habitats. However, most turkeys are found in hardwood forests with grassy areas.

That First Thanksgiving

  • On December 11, 1620 the first Pilgrims landed in North America at Plymouth Rock
  • By the fall of 1621 only half of the pilgrims, who had sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the new land survived. These survivors, thankful to be alive, decided to give a thanksgiving feast.
  • The first Thanksgiving celebration can be traced back to the Plymouth Pilgrims in the fall of 1621.
  • The Pilgrims sailed on the ship, which was known by the name of ‘Mayflower’.
  • They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day at Plymouth, Massachusetts in the fall of 1621.
  • The drink that the Puritans brought with them in the Mayflower was the beer.
  • The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in the year 1621 and invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to the feast.
  • The Wampanoag Chief Massasoit and about ninety of his tribesmen were invited to the first thanksgiving feast as a way of thanking them for teaching the Pilgrims how to cultivate the land as well as survival skills.
  • The first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621 lasted for three days and included food and games.
  • The first Thanksgiving feast was held to thank the Lord for sparing the lives of the survivors of the Mayflower, who landed at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. The survivors included four adult women and almost forty percent children.
  • The average age of the Mayflower passenger was 32. The oldest Mayflower passenger was 64.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims did not have big buckles on their clothing, shoes, or hats.
  • Buckles did not come into fashion until the late 1600s – more appropriate for the Salem Witchcraft trial time period.
  • There was no milk, cheese, bread, butter or pumpkin pie at the original Thanksgiving Day feast.

The Making of A National Holiday

  • President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation in the year 1789 and again in 1795.
  • President Thomas Jefferson scoffed at the idea of establishing a national “Thanksgiving Day.
  • The state of New York officially made Thanksgiving Day an annual custom in 1817.
  • Sarah Josepha Hale, an editor with a magazine, started a Thanksgiving campaign in 1827 and it was a result of her efforts that in 1863 Thanksgiving was observed as a day for national thanksgiving and prayer.
  • Abraham Lincoln issued a ‘Thanksgiving Proclamation’ on October 3, 1863 and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day for Thanksgiving… whereas previous presidents used to make an annual proclamation to specify the day when Thanksgiving was to be held. However, after his death, is wasn’t followed.
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt restored the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day in the year 1939. He did so to make the Christmas shopping season longer and thus stimulate the national economy.
  • Congress passed an official proclamation in 1941 and declared that from then forward, Thanksgiving will be observed as a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. But it was Thomas Jefferson who opposed him. It is believed that Franklin then named the male turkey as ‘tom’ to spite Jefferson.

More American Traditions

  • The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, an American institution and tradition, has been held annually since 1920.
  • It’s so prominent in New York that Thanksgiving is referred to in NYC as Macy’s Day.
  • The end of the parade signals the official beginning of the Christmas Season, consummated by Black Friday where shoppers officially begin the holiday rush.
  • Black Friday is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year where stores open earlier than usual and stay open later than usual – with long lines waiting many hours before the stores open.
  • The Thanksgiving Classic football game was first organized by the Detroit Lions in 1920 to boost ticket sales. The Lions have played home games annually on Thanksgiving Day since that time. The Dallas Cowboys have also played on Turkey Day annually since 1966. Since then, teams traditionally wear throwback jerseys to commemorate their team’s history.

Interesting Odds & Ends

  • The day before Thanksgiving is the largest day in the United States for bar sales. New Years Eve comes in a close second.
  • About 78% of employees get paid leave Wednesday through Friday of Thanksgiving Week.
  • Thanksgiving week is also considered one of the busiest travel periods of the entire year.
  • The ‘wishbone’ of the turkey is used in a good luck ritual on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.
  • In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October.
  • Israel has the highest consumption of turkey per capita: 12 kg (27 lb).

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Legends & Myths

No one really knows why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving, but since 1621 that has been the tradition. Approximately 91% of people eat turkey adding up to the sale of over 280 million turkeys for Thanksgiving celebrations. That’s about 7.3 billion pounds of turkey.

Archeologists have found evidence that turkeys were roaming the United States 10 million years ago. According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest turkey weighed 86 lbs. It won the Heaviest Turkey competition in London on December 12.

Probably the strangest thing you’ve heard about turkey is that it contains tryptophan, a natural sedative. While it is true that turkey contains tryptophan, it’s a myth that you get sleepy from eating it. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as that.

Here’s how it works:

Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps your body produce serotonin, a calming agent in the brain that plays a key role in sleep. So that seems simple enough? Tryptophan produces chemicals that make you sleepy so that is why everyone takes their post-dinner nap on Turkey Day.

Wrong –

Pharmaceutical companies, learning that the chemical produced serotonin, started producing medication in the 1980s for insomniacs. In 1990 the FDA banned tryptophan supplements because the chemical lead to severe muscle pain and even death. While tryptophan does produce serotonin it takes a large of the amino acid to produce enough to knock you out. Unfortunately, that amount can cause serious health problems.

Here’s why tryptophan in turkey doesn’t make you sleepy –

1st — Tryptophan levels in turkey are minimal – almost unrecognizable.

2nd — Tryptophan only works well on an empty stomach. When you have food in your system, tryptophan has to compete with all the other amino acids in your system, so an even less amount makes it to your brain.

Sorry guys but this is just an urban legend.

The real reason you get sleepy is simple — You over eat — The average meal contains 3000 calories, most of which are carbohydrates. This means your body is working overtime to digest everything causing that post-meal lethargy.

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Additional Facts & Figures

The preliminary estimate of turkeys raised in the United States in 2009 is 250 million. That’s down 8 percent from the number raised during 2008. The turkeys produced in 2008 together weighed 7.9 billion pounds and were valued at $4.5 billion.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service http://www.nass.usda.gov/

The preliminary estimate of turkeys Minnesota expected to raise in 2009  is 45.5 million. The Gopher State was tops in turkey production, followed by North Carolina (37.5 million), Arkansas (28 million), Missouri (21 million), Virginia (16.4 million) and California (15 million). These six states together would probably account for about two-thirds of U.S. turkeys produced in 2009.

The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2009 is 709 million pounds.. Wisconsin is expected to lead all states in the production of cranberries, with 400 million pounds, followed by Massachusetts (190 million). New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are also expected to have substantial production, ranging from 16 million to 54 million pounds.

The total weight of sweet potatoes — another popular Thanksgiving side dish — produced by major sweet potato producing states in 2008 is 1.8 billion. North Carolina (874 million pounds) produced more sweet potatoes than any other state. It was followed by California (437 million pounds) and Mississippi (335 million pounds).

Total production of pumpkins produced in the major pumpkin-producing states in 2008 is 1.1 billion pounds. Illinois led the country by producing 496 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. Pumpkin patches in California, Pennsylvania and New York 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 $141 million.

If you prefer cherry pie, you will be pleased to learn that the nation’s forecasted tart cherry production for 2009 totals 284 million pounds. Of this total, the overwhelming majority (220 million) will be produced in Michigan.

The total volume of wheat — the essential ingredient of bread, rolls and pie crust — produced in the United States in 2009 is 2.2 billion bushels. North Dakota and Kansas accounted for 34 percent of the nation’s wheat production.

The 2008 contracted production of snap (green) beans in major snap (green) bean-producing states is 794,777 tons. Of this total, Wisconsin led all states (320,200 tons). Many Americans consider green bean casserole a traditional Thanksgiving dish.

Source: The previous data came from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service http://www.nass.usda.gov/.

The value of U.S. imports of live turkeys from January through July of 2009 — 99.3 percent from Canada is $9.2 million. When it comes to sweet potatoes, however, the Dominican Republic was the source of 60.7 percent ($2.8 million) of total imports ($4.7 million). The United States ran a $5.8 million trade deficit in live turkeys during the period but had a surplus of $23.1 million in sweet potatoes.

Source: Foreign Trade Statistics http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/

The quantity of turkey consumed by the typical American in 2007, with a hearty helping devoured at Thanksgiving time is 13.8 pounds. Per capita sweet potato consumption was 5.2 pounds.

Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Tables 212-213 http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/.

The value of turkeys shipped in 2002 is $3.6 billion. Arkansas led the way in turkey shipments, with $581.5 million, followed by Virginia ($544.2 million) and North Carolina ($453 million). In 2002, poultry businesses whose primary product was turkey totaled 35 establishments, employing about 17,000 people.

Source: Poultry Processing: 2002 http://www.census.gov/prod/ec02/ec0231i311615.pdf

Forecast 2009 receipts to farmers from turkey sales is $3.8 billion. This exceeds the total receipts from sales of products such as barley, oats and sorghum (combined) and peanuts.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/farmincome/finfidmu.htm

Retail cost per pound of a frozen whole turkey in December 2008 was $1.33.

Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010, Table 717 http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/

Number of places in the United States named after the holiday’s traditional main course is 3. Turkey, Texas, was the most populous in 2008, with 456 residents, followed by Turkey Creek, La. (361) and Turkey, N.C. (272). There are also nine townships around the country named Turkey, three in Kansas.

Source: Population estimates http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/013960.html

http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet

http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/cities.html

Number of households across the nation — 117 million – all potential gathering places for people to celebrate the holiday.

Source: Families and Living Arrangements: 2008

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/families_households/013378.html

Source: US Census Bureau

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Here are a couple Thanksgiving related links from this blog to enjoy –

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Halloween Traditions Around The World

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Courtesy of author & illustrator, Neecy Twinem. Click for more info

As one of the world’s oldest holidays, Halloween is still celebrated today in several countries around the globe, but it is in North America and Canada that it maintains its highest level of popularity. Every year, 65% of Americans decorate their homes and offices for Halloween… a percentage exceeded only by Christmas. Halloween is the holiday when the most candy is sold and is second only to Christmas in terms of total sales.

Austria

In Austria, some people will leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before retiring on Halloween night. The reason for this is because it was once believed such items would welcome the dead souls back to earth on a night which for the Austrians was considered to be brimming with strong cosmic energies.

Belgium

The Belgians believe that it is unlucky for a black cat to cross one’s path and also unlucky if it should enter a home or travel on a ship. The custom in Belgium on Halloween night is to light candles in memory of dead relatives.

Canada

Modern Halloween celebrations in Canada began with the arrival of Scottish and Irish immigrants in the 1800s. Jack O’Lanterns are carved and the festivities include parties, trick-or-treating and the decorating of homes with pumpkins and corn stalks.

China

In China, the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh. Food and water are placed in front of photographs of family members who have departed while bonfires and lanterns are lit in order to light the paths of the spirits as they travel the earth on Halloween night. Worshippers in Buddhist temples fashion “boats of the law” from paper, some of which are very large, which are then burned in the evening hours. The purpose of this custom is twofold: as a remembrance of the dead and in order to free the spirits of the “pretas” in order that they might ascend to heaven. “Pretas” are the spirits of those who’ve died as a result of an accident or drowning and whose bodies were consequently never buried. The presence of “pretas” among the living is thought by the Chinese to be dangerous. Under the guidance of Buddhist temples, societies are formed to carry out ceremonies for the “pretas,” which includes the lighting of lanterns. Monks are invited to recite sacred verses and offerings of fruit are presented.

Czech Republic / Slovakia

In the split countries formerly known as Czechoslovakia, chairs are placed by the fireside on Halloween night. There is one chair for each living family member and one for each family member’s spirit.

England

At one time, English children made “punkies” out of large beetroots, upon which they carved a design of their choice. Then, they would carry their “punkies” through the streets while singing the “Punkie Night Song” as they knocked on doors and asked for money. In some rural areas, turnip lanterns were placed on gateposts to protect homes from the spirits who roamed on Halloween night. Another custom was to toss objects such as stones, vegetables and nuts into a bonfire to frighten away the spirits. These symbolic sacrifices were also employed as fortune-telling tools. If a pebble thrown into the flames at night was no longer visible in the morning, then it was believed that the person who tossed the pebble would not survive another year. If nuts tossed into the blaze by young lovers then exploded, it signified a quarrelsome marriage. For the most part however, the English ceased celebrating Halloween with the spread of Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation. Since followers of the new religion did not believe in Saints, they saw no reason to celebrate the Eve of All Saints’ Day. However, in recent years, the American “trick or treating” custom, together with the donning of costumes for going door-to-door, has become a relatively popular pasttime among English children at Halloween, although many of the adults (particularly the older generations) have little idea as to why they are being asked for sweets and are usually ill-prepared to accommodate their small and hopeful callers.

France

Unlike most nations of the world, Halloween is not celebrated by the French in order to honor the dead and departed ancestors. It is regarded as an “American” holiday in France and was virtually unknown in the country until around 1996.

Germany

In Germany, the people put away their knives on Halloween night. The reason for this is because they do not want to risk harm befalling the returning spirits.

Hong Kong

The Halloween celebration in Hong Kong is known as “Yue Lan” (Festival of the Hungry Ghosts) and is a time when it is believed that spirits roam the world for twenty-four hours. Some people burn pictures of fruit or money at this time, believing these images would reach the spirit world and bring comfort to the ghosts.

Ireland

In Ireland, believed to be the birthplace of Halloween, the tradition is still celebrated as much as it is in the United States. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they were in the days of the Celts and children dress up in costumes to spend the evening “trick-or-treating” in their neighborhoods. After the visiting, most people attend parties with neighbors and friends. At these parties, many games are played, including “snap-apple,” in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree, and players attempt to take a bite out of the suspended apple. In addition to bobbing for apples, parents often arrange treasure hunts with sweets or pastries as the “treasure.” The Irish also play a card game where cards are laid face-down on a table with sweets or coins beneath them. When a child selects a card, he or she receives whatever prize might be found there. A traditional food is eaten on Halloween called “barnbrack.” This is a type of fruitcake which can be baked at home or store-bought. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside the cake. It is said that it  can foretell the future of the one who finds it. If the prize is a ring, then that person will soon be wed and a piece of straw means a prosperous year is forthcoming. Children are also known to play tricks upon their neighbors on Halloween night. One of which is known as “knock-a-dolly,” where children knock on the doors of their neighbors but then run away before the door is opened.

Japan

The Japanese celebrate the “Obon Festival” (also known as “Matsuri” or “Urabon”) which is similar to Halloween festivities in that it is dedicated to the spirits of ancestors. Special foods are prepared and bright red lanterns are hung everywhere. Candles are lit and placed into lanterns which are then set afloat on rivers and seas. During the “Obon Festival,” a fire is lit every night in order to show the ancestors where their families might be found. “Obon” is one of the two main occasions during the Japanese year when the dead are believed to return to their birthplaces. Memorial stones are cleaned and community dances performed. The “Obon Festival” takes place during July or August.

Korea

In Korea, the festival similar to Halloween is known as “Chusok.” It is at this time that families thank their ancestors for the fruits of their labor. The family pays respect to these ancestors by visiting their tombs and making offerings of rice and fruits. The “Chusok” festival takes place in the month of August.

Mexico / Latin America / Spain

Among Spanish-speaking nations, Halloween is known as “El Dia de los Muertos.” It is a joyous and happy holiday…a time to remember friends and family who have died. Officially commemorated on November 2 (All Souls’ Day), the three-day celebration actually begins on the evening of October 31. Designed to honor the dead who are believed to return to their homes on Halloween, many families construct an altar in their home and decorate it with candy, flowers, photographs, fresh water and samples of the deceased’s favorite foods and drinks. Frequently, a basin and towel are left out in order that the spirit can wash prior to indulging in the feast. Candles are incense are burned to help the departed find his or her way home. Relatives also tidy the gravesites of deceased family members, including snipping weeds, making repairs and painting. The grave is then adorned with flowers, wreaths or paper streamers. Often, a live person is placed inside a coffin which is then paraded through the streets while vendors toss fruit, flowers and candies into the casket. On November 2, relatives gather at the gravesite to picnic and reminisce. Some of these gatherings may even include tequila and a mariachi band although American Halloween customs are gradually taking over this celebration. In Mexico during the Autumn, countless numbers of Monarch butterflies return to the shelter of Mexico’s Oyamel fir trees. It was the belief of the Aztecs that these butterflies bore the spirits of dead ancestors.

Sweden

In Sweden, Halloween is known as “Alla Helgons Dag” and is celebrated from October 31 until November 6. As with many other holidays, “Alla Helgons Dag” has an eve which is either celebrated or becomes a shortened working day. The Friday prior to All Saint’s Day is a short day for universities while school-age children are given a day of vacation.

Here are a couple more Halloween related posts (links) from this blog:

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Fascinating Facts Legends & Myths About Halloween

halloween-blkcat-blue-moonFor centuries Halloween has had it’s share of folklore, mystery and deep-rooted tradition.  However, I bet there are a few things about the celebration that you may not have known about. Here are a few fascinating facts and legends as well as a few myths associated with Halloween that you may not have necessarily been aware of…..october31-calendar

  • Halloween is historically and traditionally celebrated on October 31st.

  • Halloween is one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back over 2000 years to the time of the Celts who lived in Britain.halloween-jackolantern
  • Halloween is also known by a few other names…

* All Hallow’s Eve
* Samhain
* All Hallowtide
* The Feast of the Dead
* The Day of the Dead

  • About 99% of pumpkins marketed domestically are used as Jack O’Lanterns at Halloween.3jack-o-lanterns
  • In the United States, 65% of Americans decorate their homes for Halloween.
  • halloween-candyMore candy is sold just prior to Halloween than any other holiday during the year. Halloween also ranks second, in terms of total sales, just behind Christmas… which has $$$ dancing into merchants cash registers.Houdini
  • Legendary magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix on Halloween in 1926.
  • Did you know that in the dictionary there are no words that rhyme with orange?
  • halloween-cartoon-costumesThe tradition of “Trick or Treating” is believed to have originated in Ireland. In preparation for All Hallow’s Eve, Irish townsfolk would visit neighbors and ask for contributions of food for a feast in the town.halloween-movie-michael-myers
  • The original 1978 Halloween film classic directed by John Carpenter cost just $320,000 to produce, however it ended up making over $50 million at the box office worldwide.
  • People have believed for centuries that light keeps away ghosts and ghouls. Making a pumpkin lantern with a candle inside is suppose keep you safe from all the restless spirits flying around on Halloween.
  • Halloween traditionally is correctly spelled ….. Hallowe’en.
  • When Christianity came to England and the rest of Europe, November 1st became known as “All Saints Day” – a day dedicated to all those saints who didn’t have a special day of their own. They performed a mass called “All hallows mass”. The night before became known as “All Hallows E’en” (translated in America as “All Hallow’s Eve”) and eventually became Hallowe’en or Halloween.
  • halloween-costume-parade

  • When the Romans conquered England, they merged ‘Samhain’ with their own festivals, a harvest festival called ‘Poloma’, and a celebration for the dead called ‘Feralia’.
  • In Mexico, as well as several other Latin American countries, they celebrate ‘El Dia de los Muertos’ or the Day of the Dead starting on the evening of October 31.
  • dia_de_los_muertos.lg

  • It is thought that the colors, orange and black, became Halloween colors because orange is associated with harvests (Halloween marks the end of harvest) and black is associated with death.black-cat
  • Black cats were originally believed to protect witches’ powers from ‘negative forces’.
  • A pumpkin is really a squash, and comes from the same family as the cucumber.
  • The biggest pumpkin in the world tipped the scales at a whopping 1,446 pounds. This biggest-pumpkingigantic gourd was weighed in October 2004 at a pumpkin festival in Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada.
  • The record for the fastest pumpkin carver in the world is Jerry Ayers of Baltimore, Ohio. He carved a pumpkin in just 37 seconds!
  • The very first jack o’ lantern was made out of hollowed out turnips.spiderandweb
  • Folklore has it that ringing a bell scares away evil spirits.
  • Legend claims that if you see a spider on this particular night, it could be the spirit of a deceased loved one who is watching over you.
  • Another folklore tale states that if you care to encounter a witch, put halloween-witch-on-broomyour clothes on inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night.
  • Supposedly if your pumpkin lantern shrivels up, you can restore it by soaking it in water overnight to re-hydrate it.

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Here are a couple more Halloween related posts (links) from this blog:

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Here’s another fun and informative post on Thanksgiving:

09/09/09: The Numbers Game

999Those who like to play with numbers will have a field day on 09/09/09. On the negative or opposite side of the coin, “Doomsayers” have predicted the end of the world on 09/09/09 – specifically at 9:09 pm. Some even pointed out that the devil’s number of 666 or date of  (06/06/06) was typical of the trickery he is infamous for and people got the date turned upside down (666 turned around is 999).

So whether you consider the date lucky or unlucky … Here are some tidbits, news, events and suggestions for the day……….

09/09/09: The Numbers Game –

  • The date falls on a Wednesday in September, both of which have 9 letters.
  • September 9 also is the 252nd day of the year. 2+5+2=9
  • If you multiply a single-digit number by 9, the resulting two digits add up to 9. Consider: 8×9=72 –> 7+2=9

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Take me out to the ballgame –

More than most, baseball is a game steeped in nines:

  • 9 players on the field at one time
  • 9 innings in a standard game
  • 9 strikes per inning
  • 90 feet between bases

You can celebrate by going to one of 15 games that Major League Baseball has on tap on Wednesday. Or you can commemorate along with MLB.com, which is inviting fans to vote for each team’s best players, by season and position, in the All-Time 9s.

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lucky-in-love-9-9-9And though the date lacks the pizzazz of the lucky sevens (07/07/07) or (08/08/08), very lucky in many Asian cultures, that isn’t stopping marketers, mathematicians and the marriage-minded from dressing it to the nines.

Hotels are offering discounts, couples are wedding in droves and “9/9/09” was among the top 100 search terms on the search engine Google on Tuesday.

Lottery users will undoubtedly try their luck by playing 999 Wednesday, and a lucky mother might see herself profiled on the news should she give birth at just the right time: 9:09.

So why not get in on the act?

After all, you’re unlikely to experience another single-digit date in your lifetime. The next one won’t roll around for 92 years — until 1/1/2101.

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