NEW JERSEY - For the first time in quite a few years, the Garden State has raindrops on Halloween. Weather forecasters say there may be a lull late in the afternoon before the fall storm gets cranking to allow trick or treaters to hit the pavement. Halloween has become quite the popular holiday with kids and adults enjoying the annual tradition of donning costumes. Here are some Halloween fun facts to pass around while trick or treating later today.
- National Black Cat Day was last week, but cats have been a part of Halloween traditions dating back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.
- Black cats are considered to be good luck in most countries except the US.
- The Halloween colors of orange and black also date back to the Celtic holiday of Samhain. Orange symbolizes strength and endurance while black is considered to be the color of death.
- Forget Valentine's Day! In Scotland, women used to hang wet sheets in front of the fireplace in the hopes of seeing the image of a potential mate. During colonial times, participants would bob for apples. The first person to snag one would also snag a significant other in the upcoming year.
- Bonfires used to be known as bone-fires in ancient times.
- The tradition of trick or treating has its roots in England with the Medieval tradition of souling. Souling was when poor people would knock on doors and receive food in exchange for saying prayers for loved ones who died.
- Who needs a pumpkin? Jack-o-lanterns used to be carved from turnips.
- Dressing in costumes also came from the Celtics. People used to dress as a ghost or put on a mask to hide from the spirits who returned from the dead. Bowls of food were left outside as well in an attempt to keep the spirits content.
- There wasn't any trick or treating during World War II because of sugar rationing.
- Halloween is the second largest retail holiday after Christmas. More than nine billion was spent on Halloween in 2018.
- Illinois is the champ when it comes to pumpkin production. The state grows five times more than other states.
- "Monster Mash" was the number one song back in 1962.
- More than two million folks will head to NYC's Greenwich Village tonight for the annual Halloween parade which is considered the largest in the US.
- Candy corn is thought to be the best and worst Halloween candy.
- Candy.com says Skittles are the top candy for Halloween not M&Ms.
- Magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween.
- The West Coast doesn't celebrate Mischief Night. Its only an East and Midswest thing. Mischief Night is also known as Goosey Night.
- Many animal shelters don't allow black cat adoptions in October for fear the felines will be used in Satanic rituals. Others shelters though promote Black Cat Awareness during the fall month.