On the occasion of the Halloween yesterday and the time of the pumpkin harvesting, Eurostat releases data for the biggest producers of pumpkins with Poland coming in first place followed by Spain, France, Portugal and Germany.
According to the data, in 2020, about 31 000 hectares across the EU were devoted to cultivating them and other types of gourds, and an estimated 760 000 tonnes were harvested.
About 85% of all pumpkins and gourdes in the EU were produced in just five Member States in 2020: Poland (with 163 900 tonnes), Spain (143 850 tonnes), France (126 230 tonnes), Portugal (121 060 tonnes) and Germany (86 890 tonnes).
When it comes to imports and exports, these were smaller when compared with production. In 2020, the EU imported 48 841 tonnes of pumpkins, squash and gourds from abroad, 57% more than in 2019. The highest share of imports in 2020 came from South Africa (24%), followed by Morocco (12%), Brazil (11%) and Argentina (10%).
Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' evening"), less commonly known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the departed.
One theory holds that many Halloween traditions were influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which are believed to have pagan roots; some go further and suggest that Samhain may have been Christianized as All Hallow's Day, along with its eve, by the early Church. Other academics believe Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, being the vigil of All Hallow's Day.
Celebrated in Ireland and Scotland for centuries, Irish and Scottish migrants brought many Halloween customs to North America in the 19th century,and then through American influence, Halloween spread to other countries by the late 20th and early 21st century.
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising and souling), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, as well as watching horror films.
For some people, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although for others it is a secular celebration. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.