Traditions are a great way to celebrate a specific season, holiday, milestone, or memory. They can be as simple as going to the movies every Black Friday or as grand as a luxurious trip every wedding anniversary. While some traditions are looked forward to and celebrated, others are met with less enthusiasm.
Here are some popular fall traditions and their origins.
Have you ever wondered who thought it would be a good idea to wander through a field of corn for fun? While the tradition of a corn maze doesn’t go back to the 18th century, it has been a popular attraction for a couple of decades now. The first corn maze was created in 1993 by Don Frantz at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania. Fun fact, Frantz is also the mind behind Broadway musicals like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast as well as a producer of Super Bowl halftime shows.
Bobbing for Apples
What initially seems like an innocent game for children to play has deeper roots than you might imagine. Once upon a time, it wasn’t just a fun game, but rather a British courting ritual. Each apple would be assigned to the name of an eligible bachelor. Then each woman would try to grab the apple donning the name of the man she liked. Getting the apple on the first try meant a happily ever after, the second attempt meant the couple would get together but would not be married, and if it took three tries, then the couple would not be together at all.
Movember AKA No-Shave November
Like many great ideas, Movemeber started with a few friends sitting in a pub. In 1999, a group of guys in Adelaide, South Australia, decided they could raise money and awareness for charities by growing their mustaches out for a month. Over the next four years, this idea would gain popularity and would be an adopted practice by many other organizations. Today, the Movember Foundation has raised more than $710 million for men’s health causes including testicular cancer, prostate cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention.
Attention aspiring writers, this one is for you! In 1999, Chris Baty and 21 of his friends vowed to get 50,000 words down on paper during the month of November. While only 6 of them succeeded during year 1, the word spread and had 140 participants the following year, and surpassed 1,000 writers during the third year. Now, every November, thousands of writers vow to hunker down and finally finish that novel during the month. Last year, 431,629 people reported having taken part in this tradition.
Thanksgiving Day Football: Lions and Cowboys
The annual Thanksgiving football game first kicked off in 1934 when the owner of the Detroit Lions had the idea of scheduling on the holiday to build support and excitement around the franchise’s move. The owner was not only able to persuade NBC to broadcast the game on 94 stations across America but managed to fill the stadium, having to turn away fans at the door. In 1966, the Dallas Cowboys picked up on the marketing scheme and broke the attendance record. Both teams have held up the tradition nearly every year since.
What fall traditions do you and your family have?