The leaves turned brown and air is chilly so it’s time for one and only Halloween celebration. If you are planning a trip on November you have to make sure that you know Halloween traditions of the country you are visiting.
Halloween traditions across the world
Let’s start with Ireland where everything started centuries ago. All other the country kids dress up in little monsters and go trick or treating in the neighbourhood. After that people attend parties with friends and neighbours. At those parties are played traditional games like attempt to bite an apple which is hanging or treasure hunts. Also, a traditional fruit cake is eaten during this celebration, in that cake a treasure is baked. It is said that what you will find in that cake it can represent your future. For example, if you find a ring then that means that a person will get married soon or if you find a piece of straw that means that your year will be prosperous.
I think the celebration in U.S. is obvious, because it is the most popular and known across the world. Although, during Halloween children go trick or treating wearing cute or scary costumes, teenagers usually making pranks like throwing eggs or toilet papers at the houses and adults celebrate having parties.
Some my favorite ideas for a Halloween costume:
- Alien pick me up costume
- Taco costume
- T-Rex costume
- Black Widow Spider
- Butterfly costume
- Old lady lost her dog costume
Mexico and parts of Latin America
On November 1 – 2, in Mexico and parts of Latin America it is known as dia de los Muertos (Day of dead). It is a day to remember and to honor close people who passed away. It is believed that at midnight on October 31 the Gates of Heaven open up and all the souls return to Earth to be with their families and to enjoy the festival, but only for 24 hours. Also, during this celebration in-home altars are made, which are full of flowers, peanuts, fruits, hot chocolate, tortillas and pan de muerto (bread of the dead). For the children souls families leave candies or toys, for the adult souls leave alcohol or cigarettes. Additionally, candles are burned to help souls to find a way home.
On November 2, friends and relatives gather at the grave site for a picnic and reminisce. Also, people clean grave sites, snip weeds and do small repairs. Graves are decorated with flowers. People sit around the grave sharing stories and meals.
Have you heard about Dracula? Halloween or as we can say “the day of Dracula” in Romania is celebrated in Bran Castle in Transylvania. There are hundreds of travel packages for parties at Dracula’s castle.
In Japan “Obon Festival” also known as “Urabon” or “Matsuri” is celebrated, which is similar to Halloween. Although, the celebration is usually on July or August. During this festival a fire is lit everywhere just to show souls where their relatives can be found. Traditionally, areas where grave sites are, the pathway from the graces to the people’s home is swept clean and also a full house cleaning is made. Then an altar with various meals, “welcoming fire” are set next to the houses. On the last evening of the celebration “send off fires” are lit and all the spirits return to the graves.
The only celebration in Japan which is on October is Kawasaki Halloween Parade just outside Tokyo. During this parade about 4000 Halloween enthusiasts from all other the world gather in Kawasaki.
In the Philippines Halloween is called: Pangagaluluwa. During this celebration children go door to door offering songs in exchange for candies, money or food. It is believed that children sings for the souls who are in the purgatory to help them to go to heaven.
Chusok festival is similar to Halloween, at this time families thank to their spirits and ancestors for the fruits of their labor. Families pays their respect by making offerings of fruits and rice.
Teng Chieh (The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts) are celebrated in China during Halloween time. People place water and food in front of photographs of relatives and friends who have departed. Also the red lanterns are lit to light the paths for spirits who are wandering at the earth on the festival’s evening.
The Awuru Odo Festival is to mark departed family members and friends return back to living. This celebration lasts 6 months! It is celebrated with music, feasts and masks before souls go back to the spirit world. Although, this important festival happens only once every two years.
Ognissanti in Italy begin with people leaving flowers (usually chrysanthemums) on the graves. Italians also put a red candle in the window and set a place at the table, because they hope the spirits will visit.
Germans put away their knives during Halloween night. Why is that? They do not want to risk harm to or from spirits who will decide to return.
All Soul’s Day is a Catholic holiday which is a day to remember those who passed away. In Early November people visit cemeteries to visit graves of who were loved. The holiday is celebrated with flowers, candles and prayers for departed relatives. It is a day to stay in peace and to honor the saints.
Where you will be celebrating Halloween next year?
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