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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ASU chapter.

Did you know that over 30 countries around the world celebrate Halloween in their own ways? Halloween is October 31st (Duhh, I know) which is the day before “All Saints Day,” otherwise known as “Dia De Los Muertos”. It’s a day to honor the saints and those who have passed. Countries who celebrate these two days, do it in different ways.

In the United States, Halloween is celebrated by all ages. Everyone dresses up, goes to parties, or celebrates with friends and family by watching movies, carving pumpkins, or  participating in various Halloween themed activities. For younger children, they celebrate by going Trick or Treating around various neighborhoods, collecting all the candies and goodies they can get.

Same as Americans, the Irish celebrate just as much, if not better. But did you know that Halloween originated in Ireland? It dates all the way back to a Celtic festival of Samhain over 2,000 years ago. They considered this day “new years eve” and celebrated the new year the following sunrise. There are many festivals around the country that celebrate this day, and it is very common to end their evening eating a traditional Halloween fruitcake known as the “barnbrack”.

In China, things are a bit different. They hold several various festivals through the month of October to honor the dead. One of the first festivals is  Teng Chieh, where many people place food and water in front of pictures of relatives who have passed. They also make bonfires and hang lanterns to light the spirits path back to earth. Another festival is The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts. It is believed that on the seventh lunar month, the souls of the dead wander the earth in search of “affection.” These spirits are known as the “hungry ghosts” because they are hungry for recognition from their loved ones, or anyone.

Next is the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, and is dedicated to all the spirits who are earthbound. This holiday is supposed to make them feel welcomed and put their “hunger” at ease. During the sacred ritual of that day, people offer food and other gifts, like paper money that is burnt on their behalf, as well as household objects and other things.

In Mexico, similar to China, they use this holiday to celebrate the dead. This celebration lasted a total of three days, from October 31st to November 2nd. Families hold picnic lunches or dinners at the gravesite of their loved ones, and place pictures and candles side by side. It is a simple, yet important way to honor and welcome the spirits back to earth for a short period of time.

Photo by Beth Teutschmann
The four countries mentioned were just a few of  many. It is fun to learn a little about every country’s tradition and know Halloween isn’t just a day of people dressing up and partying, but instead a celebration to enjoy  time with family and friends.

Hello! Melanie is from Southern California, more especially Indio & yes, that is where Coachella Fest is located. She is majoring in Journalism with a focus in Public Relations as well as perusing a minor in Women and Gender Studies and another minor in Art History. She enjoys going to the gym, listening to podcasts and watching youtube. Some of her favorite things in life are interior designing/decorating, coffee, plants and astrology. LOL what a Leo :)