Halloween will soon be upon us. It is called a “holiday”, although I don’t know of anyone who gets the day off – not even the Post Office. We will spend $11.3 Billion to celebrate, although we’re not exactly sure why. Around $350 Million of that will go for costumes for pets, who surely don’t know why either.
In ancient Ireland and Scotland around the time of Christ, the pagan Celts celebrated the Fall harvest, and the lifestyle adjustments that accompanied the changing season, with a festival called “Samhain.” In the 5th century, the Catholic Church took over, changing this to “All Hallows Eve” where all the saints of the church were honored. Historically, Halloween started out pagan, swung over to Catholic, and then somehow landed in the secular middle.
My own Halloween experience began with combing the neighborhood for free candy, then following my kids around the neighborhood with a flashlight while they sought free candy, and finally answering the doorbell handing out the free candy. Before long, I plan on closing the curtains, turning off all the lights, eating the candy, and going to bed at dusk.
The economics of all this should be enticing to anyone with the least little morsel of entrepreneurial gene in their DNA. Here is a non-holiday that no one can explain, and yet the average family is willing to spend $125 celebrating. Surely some visionary soul can come up with another such excuse that will entice us to dress up our pets, eat way too much chocolate, and pump some life into the US CES.