Do Other Countries Celebrate Halloween? Get To Know More About This Famous Date

The spookiest night of the year is so near that I can already hear the frightened screams and the uncontrollable laughing of the ones that like a good jumpscare. The Halloween itself is different from what is has populary become: it's a Christian day to celebrate the deceased, including martyr, saints and loved ones. Some believe it has a gaelic origin, from harvest feasts and later on was christianised, while others affirm that has a Christian past and present. Halloween, also -not commonly- known as All Saints’ Eve, is widely recognized by the trick-or-treating, the costumes, the Jack O’ Lanterns and the ghost stories. However this is the American way of celebrating. Here are the ways other cultures around the globe spend Halloween and I promise not to scare the hell out of you. 

  1. 1. Mexico

    On November 2, mexican families all around the world gather together to celebrate and remember their loved ones, who aren’t among them anymore. The date is called Día de los Muertos (Day of the dead). It is believed that this tradition was passed from ancient pre-Columbian cultures, who would dedicate their celebrations to the goddess Catrina (lady of the dead). This is a two day holiday, bearing in mind they dedicate November 1 to death of children and November 2 the adults. 

    The festivities begin when families put together food, drinks, meaningful family objects and dress up as traditional mexican skulls. It’s common for the relatives to pay a visit to the family’s grave and leave gifts and food as it is believed that this is the day when the spirits can come back and see their loved ones. 

  2. 2. Austria

    Not much of a celebration itself but austric people have a Halloween tradition: leave bread, water and a lantern before going to bed. 

    It is believed that by doing so, the souls of the deceased are welcome back to earth on this very night. However, other than the American way of celebrating only on October 31, in Austria they celebrate an entire week: from October 30 to November 8, the Seleenwoche (All Souls Week)

  3. 3. Hong Kong

    In Hong Kong there is not a specific Halloween celebration, but there is a similar festival that is worth mentioning: The Hungry Ghost. It takes place in the seventh month of the lunar calendar, which is when spirits roam the earth, according to the chinese belief. The tradition relies on making some offers to the ghosts, such as food and money, which are burnt in order to reach the “other side”.

    This is a way to demonstrate respect a love for their ancestors and also a time to revisit the chinese customs in form of parades and showcases. 

  4. 4. United States

    The place that made Halloween so popular has its own traditions, which were copied or made into an inspiration by other countries. The american way to celebrate this date consists in trick-or-treating, costumes, elaborated decorations, haunted houses and parties. 

    It’s interesting to notice that no matter how old you are, you have a space in the festivities in the US: kids go door to door asking for candy, teenagers make scary pranks in their friends and throw parties, same as adults and elders who gather with family and friends in a “halloweeny” environment.

  5. 5. Brazil

    This is one of the countries that imitated the American celebration. It is the same style: costumes, parties, trick-or-treating and decorations. Some brazilians even get annoyed with the celebration claiming that it is not part of our culture, therefore it shouldn’t have such strength. On the other hand, there are people who say that it became part of the culture, since there are organized parties in clubs and children asking for candy everywhere. 

    There is a law project trying to make the date more brazilian by calling it “Saci and his friends day”, in honour of one the most famous folcloric story in the country. 

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