The Ultimate Halloween Quiz

For many people in the United States and Canada, Halloween ranks right up there with Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's. Kids (and adults) begin devising their costumes months before the big night, and stores are ready with the treats even sooner. You may be a veteran trick-or-treater, but how much do you really know about this sugar-filled fright fest?
Getty Images, Harrison Eastwood

Question 1 of 10

The predecessor of Halloween is:
Thanksgiving
All Saints' Day
The direct predecessor of modern-day Halloween is the festivity that began All Saints' Day (also called All Hallows' Day), which started at sundown on Oct. 31. The word "Halloween" is actually a shortened version of "All Hallows' Even," the eve of All Hallows' Day. At some point, people began referring to All Hallows' Even as "Hallowe'en" and then simply "Halloween."
All Souls' Day

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Question 2 of 10

Halloween has roots in what ancient Celtic celebration?
All Saints' Day
Samhain
Samhain, the ancient Celtic New Year that fell around the end of October, provides us with many of Halloween's traditions.
All Souls' Day

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Question 3 of 10

What did the Celtic people believe had magical properties?
black cats
turning points
Celtic tradition held that turning points, times when things change from one state to another, held magical properties. The Celts believed the turning point of Samhain opened up a type of connection to the dead.
pumpkins

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Question 4 of 10

All Souls' Day lives on today as:
Los Dias de los Muertos
All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day are collectively observed as Los Dias de los Muertos ("The Days of the Dead"). This is a time when families fondly remember the deceased and participate in various festivities.
Los Dias de los Guapos
Los Dias de los Santos

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Question 5 of 10

One Halloween custom in the United States involves collecting money for what organization?
World Wildlife Fund
Humane Society of the United States
UNICEF
Many trick-or-treaters collect money instead of candy on Halloween and send it to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), an organization created to help the world's children.

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Question 6 of 10

Approximately what percentage of U.S. children go trick-or-treating or engage in other Halloween festivities each year?
60 to 65 percent
70 to 75 percent
85 to 90 percent
Roughly 85 to 90 percent of children participate in some kind of Halloween celebration. Even adults get in on the fun -- in 2000, about 65 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 attended Halloween-themed parties.

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Question 7 of 10

Jack-o'-lanterns first got their start as what vegetable?
watermelons
turnips
As part of the Samhain celebration, Celts brought home embers from the communal bonfire in hollowed-out turnips, creating lanterns that resembled modern-day jack-o'-lanterns.
potatoes

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Question 8 of 10

Which of the following is not one of the groups that have opposed Halloween?
Wiccans
Christians
children
Some Wiccans get upset by Halloween because they feel it misrepresents their beliefs, and some Christian groups are uncomfortable with the holiday's satanic connotations.

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Question 9 of 10

What was the goal of trick-or-treating before candy came into the picture?
money
apples
soul cakes
Celtic children used to walk door to door to collect soul cakes in a custom called souling. For every currant-topped dessert they collected, they said a prayer for the dead relatives of the cake's giver.

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Question 10 of 10

What fruit took center stage in many Celtic divination rituals?
cherries
apples
Due to their association with female deities and the pentagram shape appearing in their core upon being sliced in half, apples were often the focus of Celtic traditions. Halloween activities like bobbing for apples, drinking apple cider, making candy apples and handing out apples to trick-or-treaters comes from this Celtic tradition.
pumpkins

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Getty Images, Harrison Eastwood

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