Halloween Traditions Around The World… As one of the world’s oldest holidays, dating back to pagan times. Halloween is still celebrated today in several countries around the globe by more people in more countries than ever before, but it is in North America and Canada is one of the biggest holidays that it maintains its highest level of popularity. Halloween in the United States has become one of the most massive consumer holidays, every year, 65% of Americans decorate their homes and offices for Halloween…a percentage exceeded only by Christmas.
Halloween is a spooky holiday night of October 31st simply about witches and Jack-o’-Lanterns, when the most costumes, candy and decorations are prepared for the event and is second only to Christmas in terms of total sales. Beside the simple reason of its fun and sharing goodies, clean, harmless scaring of each other as well, fun for young and old alike! Fear has become synonymous with Halloween tradition. There’s something fascinating about the notion of death and dying, there are many countries that see it as a day of respect for the departed. Many cultures in different countries around the world have different opinion on how to dedicate the night to the dead and to honor deceased family and friends, and creating unique ways to please them or aid them in passing on to the other side, along with traditions designed to keep evil spirits at bay. Some believe the American Halloween has religious and spiritual roots of the holiday are preserved as a festival to remember the dead, in some form, in various countries around the world.
What other countries celebrate Halloween?
Halloween is a very spiritual day in certain areas. The celebrations and observances of this holiday occurred primarily in regions of the Western countries since the late 20th century, originated in an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. Halloween traditions vary significantly between geographical areas.
When was the first Halloween?
Ancient Origins of Halloween dates back to 1745 have its origin in Christianity where the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain is held. The Celts culture that lived 2,000 years ago celebrated the day at the close of the harvest season, their new year was on November 1.
Why do people celebrate Halloween?
It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain in Gaelic culture close of the harvest season between fall and winter. The Gaels had their belief that on October 31, when their people light bonfires and wear costumes to make a borderline between the living world and the world of the dead to ward off roaming ghosts and the dead would return to their graves. Gradually as every thin in life, the history progressed and the activities or the festivities of Halloween and became a time of celebration and superstition. Halloween became widespread in the world; US, Ireland, Canada, England, Mexico, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Netherlands are considered the top ten Halloween celebrating countries in the world.
What is the Day of the Dead-?
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is another interesting holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico ;Mexico, Latin America and Spain during the chilly days of November 1 & 2 to honor the dead who, it is believed, return to their earthly homes on Halloween.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how Halloween is celebrated in different cultures and countries and how they all differ? Here’s a peek at how other cultures do it up for Halloween:
Halloween in Ireland:
Most people believed that Ireland is the birthplace of Halloween, where Halloween started the tradition, Halloween in Ireland it’s really not so different and is still celebrated as much as American Halloween festivities. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they were in the days of the Celts and children dress up in costumes to go trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods. After the visiting the neighborhoods trick-or-treating, most people attend parties with neighbors and friends. Time is passed at these parties, many games are played, including the popular game called “snap-apple,” this is a game in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree, and kids attempt to bite the apple. In addition to bobbing for apples, treasure hunts are also arranged by parents with candy and sweets or pastries as the “treasure ” as well as a card game where cards are laid face down hided either candy or coins beneath them, and the participant receives whatever prize might be under the card . A traditional cake is eaten on Halloween called “barn rack” which it is a kind of fruitcake that can be baked at home or store-bought, wrapped inside it a treasure a muslin or a ring in either cases who finds it will soon be wed or a prosperous year is forthcoming.
Halloween in Austria;
Similar to Germany, Austrian Catholics celebrate it during the week of Seleenwoche (October 30 to November 8) in a different way Instead of serving up candy every year. Some Austrians people honor their dead relatives by leaving bread, water, and a lighted lamp on a table before bedtime. In the past, it was believed such items welcomed dead souls to earth on a night that Austrians considered to be magical brimming with strong cosmic energies. During the week of Seleenwoche, masses are held and the graves are decorated with lanterns and wreaths. On the final day of Seleenwoche, a large requiem mass is held in the honor of the passed ones.
Halloween in Belgium;
The Belgians have some traditional beliefs and thoughts regarding this celebration, they believe that it is unlucky for a black cat to cross one’s path and also unlucky if it should enter a home or any other establishment, or travel on a ship. The custom in Belgium on Halloween night is to light candles in memory of dead relatives and the loved ones.
Halloween in Canada;
Many people ask Do they celebrate Halloween in Canada? Halloween began to be celebrated in Canada with the arrival of Scottish and Irish immigrants in the 1800s. On Halloween; single night in October 31 it was a frightening and superstitious time of year. According to old Celtic beliefs, spirits and the dead can cross over into the world of the living. Halloween in Canada is celebrated much as it is in the United States ,Jack O’Lanterns are carved and placed in their windows and the festivities include costume parties, people welcome trick-or-treators and the decorating of homes with pumpkins and corn stalks and fun for all ages.
Halloween in China;
In China, several festivals that are similar to Halloween are held, one of them similar to Halloween is known as Teng Chieh or the Feast of the Hungry Ghosts; a Lantern Festival that closes off Chinese New Year celebrations. Food and water are placed in front of photographs of family’s departed relatives to honor them and for the wandering ghosts who are looking for food, recognition and care in the afterlife, while bonfires and lanterns in different forms like dragons, swans, and other animals are hung in the streets. They are lit in hoping to guide the paths of the wandering spirits as they travel back to the earth on Halloween night and protecting people from evil. Worshippers in Buddhist temples fashion “boats of the law” from paper, which are normally a red in a variety of sizes, some of which are very large, which are later burned during the night hours. The purpose of this custom is done for two reasons: as a remembrance and to honor the dead relatives and in order to free the dead’s peoples spirits of the people who died as a result of an accident or drowning known as “pretas” in order that they might ascend to since their bodies was consequently never buried. The belief is that this ritual helps them ascend to heaven as these wandering spirits among the living are thought to be dangerous.The Chinese societies are formed to carry out ceremonies under the guidance of Buddhist temples for the “pretas,” which includes the lighting of lanterns to aid them in their journey to atmosher the afterlife. Monks do their roll in inviting to recite the sacred verses and offerings of fruit are presented.
Halloween in Scotland:
Halloween was traditionally associated with witches and bonfires in the 16th century when witches and warlocks might walk abroad, engaged in wicked practices. Scotland people used to leave an empty chair and a plate of food for invisible guests as the souls of the dead were set free to roam the hour before. From William Shakespeare writings we do understand the Scotland special atmosphere dealing with the witches and warlocks. Halloween in Scotland is very similar to American Halloween traditions which are more of the norm in Scotland.
Halloween in Czechoslovakia:
In Czechoslovakia Halloween is celebrated on November 2nd and is called Commemoration of All the Departed. Their tradition is to place a chair for each dead relative spirit by the fireside on Halloween night and decorate the graves of their dead by placing flowers and candles. Czechs Legend has it that the dead can make contact with the physical world; people can speak to the dead, who can hear—and respond.
Does France celebrate Halloween?
Unlike most nations of the world, The French don’t celebrate Halloween in order to honor the dead and departed ancestors in fact they didn’t really know what Halloween is or started celebrating it until around 1996. French love of parties, fetes and costume events, they became much like with American Halloween in celebrating it…they get dressed up in costumes but they go store to store instead of home to home to get their candy.
Halloween in Germany:
In Germany, the people put away their knives on Halloween night to avoid encounters with malicious spirits. On All Saints Day, Nov. 1, Catholic Germans honor the memory of saints and visit the family’s graves to beautify them with wreaths, small lanterns, votive candles and to sprinkle the graves with holy water to honor their memory.
Halloween in Hong Kong:
In Hong Kong there is a festival similar to Halloween known as “Yue Lan” During the Hungry Ghosts Festival, it’s the celebration to honor the dead where ghosts and spirits roam the world for 24 hours. Burning pictures of fruit, food, or money is a common activity, believing these images would reach the spirit world, and comfort the ghosts on this day. Fires are lit and food and gifts are thought to be useful in the underworld, offered to placate potentially angry ghosts who might be looking for revenge.
Halloween in the Philippines:
Like most countries – Halloween is more focused on remembering dead family members and friends. Halloween there is the period from the eve of October 31 to November 2. Though the influence of American Halloween is gradually starting to spread in the Philippines, such as the tradition of dying tradition of Pangangaluluwâ, is gradually the celebration with candles, flowers, prayers and a visit to the cemetery are replaced by the Trick-or treating tradition. Same as that in the US people going in groups go from house to house and offering a song about the souls trapped in purgatory, and in exchange ask for food or money.
Halloween in Italy:
All Saints Day which is on November 1 is an Italian holiday and All Souls Day which is on November 2 are maily the official holidays than hallowed. Halloween, or All Saint’s Eve, become popular the last few years in Italy. Halloween costumes and home decorations are not that popular as that in the states it is only displayed in shop windows and in many stores. Many Italian families have a tradition making a bean-shaped caked known as the Beans of the Dead.
Do they celebrate Halloween in Australia?
Many Australians celebrate Halloween, on October 31. Costume parties are held and many children go trick-or-treating but still not as popular as that in the states.
Halloween in Sweden:
As with most of Europe, Halloween in Sweden just isn’t the same tradition as that in America. There is no trace to find of Halloween-themed decorations prior to and around October 31. If any tradition is done or does exist it comes directly from America. All it is… is a working day, short day for universities while school-age children are given a day of vacation. No Pop-up Halloween stores, no decorated homes, No excited trick or theaters… Halloween is a relatively new addition.
Halloween in Japan:
In summer during July or August the Japanese celebrate the “Obon Festival” one of the two main occasions during the Japanese year. The “Obon Festival” is held to honor the spirits of ancestors which is similar to Halloween festivities. The “Obon Festival” is a “homecoming” Festival. Special foods are prepared and bright red lanterns are hung everywhere, some are released into rivers and the sea with lit candles inside to guide a spirit to its family’s location and to return to their birthplaces.
Halloween in Korea:
Unfortunately, Halloween isn’t a big holiday in Korea but festival similar to Halloween is known as “Chusok ” which takes place in the month of August. It is at this time that families remember friends and family who have died by visiting their graves and making offerings of rice and fruits.
Halloween in Mexico, Latin America And Spain:
The result of the New World Spanish-speaking nations, particularly Mexico and Aztec-influenced Latin America, a merged Native American and Christian religious tradition celebrate Halloween in the name El Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. The Mexican traditions celebrate Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a three-day celebration that begins on the evening of October 31 and 2nd. This is an ancient festivity that had traditions and history among the Mexican throughout the past thousands of years and had been transformed throughout the years.The day is a time to welcome the souls of the dead by their graves, picnicking and celebrating their lives. The dead are believed to return to their homes so at home, families come together to celebrate their departed loved ones. On this night altars are constructed and decorated by placing favorite food, drink, beverages and cempasúchil flowers near photographs of deceased relatives to welcome them back. On the Day of the Dead, some people dress as skeletons; others decorate skulls and create images of skulls and skeletons.
Halloween in England:
While the Irish and Scots preferred turnips, English children made “punkies” Instead of carving pumpkins out of large beetroots, upon which they carved a design of their choice. Then, they would carry their “punkies” in hand, go through the streets while singing the “Punkie Night Song” then proceed to go from door to door knocking asking for money. Halloween became Guy Fawkes Night and moved a few days later – see the History of Halloween, but recently it has been celebrated on October 31, in addition to Guy Fawkes Night. In some rural areas, turnip lanterns were placed on gateposts in front of homes to keep away and to protect homes from the spirits who roamed on Halloween night. People use many symbolic sacrificed customs was used to frighten away the spirits. Now more and more British traditions have been adopted from the American Halloween tradition.
Halloween is a worldwide celebration, popular in places and others celebrated in a different way but all have the same soul, history and tradition. We know Halloween is all about fun, but that doesn’t mean you have stop here, take a look at other fun stuff and enjoy our collection, have a look at some of our past articles to help get you started, Best Halloween Decorating Ideasfor Your Holiday Home and Interior Decorating Ideas To Decorate Your Home For Halloween. Enjoy and happy holidays!
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