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Halloween spending

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The magic of Halloween is often seen on the costumed faces of kids who anxiously await their chance to dress up and go trick-or-treating every year. However, figures from the National Retail Federation suggest that adults also love this holiday that traces its origins back to the Celtic festival of Samhain. During the festival of Samhain, which historians have noted was mentioned in Old Irish literature that dates from the 10th century onward, people would engage in various activities and rituals, including wearing costumes. These activities were intended to ward off ghosts.

More than a millenium later, costumes have not lost their appeal. Data from the NRF indicates that Americans spent $8 billion on Halloween in 2020. That marks a dropoff from the year prior, but that decrease can at least be partially credited to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many people to cancel Halloween celebrations in 2020. In fact, in 2020 the average Halloween celebrant spent roughly $92 on the holiday, which is more than in any year prior. The NRF reports that costumes tend to be the most costly Halloween-related expense, and the total dollars spent and number of celebrants suggests that a holiday often associated with children has long since become a holiday for kids of all ages.