Halloween is a widely popular festival and is celebrated across the world in several countries. The festival has its roots in the Celtic Harvest festival of Samhain. It has now spread all across the globe. Even Asian countries like Singapore, India, Japan etc have also started celebrating it with full fervor. Many countries and cultures also celebrate Halloween with a different name or on a completely different date other than 31st October every year. If we look closely almost every culture or religion in the world have their own way of paying homage to the departed souls that have influenced their lives. Let’s have a look at the various ways Halloween celebrations happens across the globe.
Halloween Celebrations and Traditions Around the World
Halloween Celebrations in Ireland
Ireland is where it all began; the Celtic festival of Samhain was rooted in Ireland. This festival marked the end of summer and the beginning of a lesser productive winter also known as the dark times. Most of the Halloween traditions from lighting Jack-o-Lanterns to apple bobbing to lighting a bonfire or trick-or-treat to donning disguises of spooky characters, all come from the Irish traditions of Halloween. The famous Halloween cake called Barnbrack also comes from Ireland.
Halloween Celebrations in the U.S.A.
Halloween in the United States of America is a festive affair. Though most of the regions have their own traditions pertaining to Halloween, it is widely celebrated following common traditions worldwide. Trick-or-treat; Halloween parties, donning disguises, zombie marches, Halloween treats, pumpkin pies, and jack-o-lanterns form an integral part of the celebrations in the U.S.A. However, Halloween is not a public holiday in the States.
Halloween Celebrations in Spain
Spain has gradually caught on to the whole Halloween celebration tradition and has gained immense popularity among the younger generations. The towns are decorated in Halloween themed decor and the festival is celebrated with a lot of verve. In Spain, the celebration starts with El Dia de las Brujas or the Day of the Witches and ends in El Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead or All Souls Day). The celebrations start on 31st October and end on 2nd November every year. On the last day, the locals pray at the graves of the deceased and offer holy water, food, and drinks to the departed souls.
Halloween Celebrations in the Czech Republic
Halloween is known as Dusicky in the Czech Republic and is celebrated by lighting candles at the graves of the departed and offering prayers for their souls. The other common traditions are also followed apart from placing chairs around a bonfire for all the family members as well as the departed souls.
Halloween Celebrations in Italy
Halloween in Italy is celebrated in a similar manner as in the rest of the parts of the world but in Italy, they have a different day dedicated to donning disguises and playing pranks on people and enjoying a gala celebration which is around 40 days prior to Easter and is called Carnevale. The Romans also celebrated Parentalia and Lemuria as the time to remember and pray for the deceased family members. However, now the Italians have started celebrating Halloween with equal enthusiasm and follow most of the traditions associated with it such lighting Jack-o-Lanterns or doing the Zombie parade.
Halloween Celebrations in Greece
Greece has its own festival of remembering the departed souls and it is known as The Apokrias, celebrated mostly in the month of February. The children disguise as various characters and ask their friends to guess the names of the characters they are dressed as during this festival. There is a whole authentic Greek recipe for the famous Pumpkin pie. However, Halloween is also celebrated in Greece which mostly comprises of hotels, restaurants, and bars throwing Halloween parties for their guests.
Halloween Celebrations in South Korea
Koreans have their own designated day of celebrating the departed souls in the months of August or September and it is called Chusok. However, the South Koreans also have adopted the Western festival of Halloween and revel at the celebrations mostly in the form of Halloween themed costume parties or zombie parades and live music and performances on the streets.
Halloween Celebrations in China
Halloween in China is celebrated mostly among the expatriates residing in the country and has been locally accepted as well. China also has its own festival of celebrating the dead and is known as Teng Chieh, literally translated as The Festival of Hungry Ghosts. During this festival, various offerings of food and drinks are served before the photographs of the deceased people in the family and lanterns are lit to illuminate the paths for the departed souls.
Halloween Celebrations in Japan
Japan also has its own festival dedicated to the dead and departed souls of the family, known as Bon Matsuri or Urabon and is held mainly during the month of July. However, Halloween is celebrated in Japan as well as following the common traditions of the Western festival. The youth disguise as horrifying characters and take part in parades in certain parts of Japan.
Halloween Celebrations in India
India doesn’t really celebrate Halloween on 31st October. India has its own Hindu version of celebrating the dead and departed souls of the ancestors. It is called Pitru Paksha where the souls of the departed are remembered in prayers and offerings are made to the Gods and the departed souls. Pitru Paksha further makes way for the lesser known Bhoot Chaturdashi right before the festival of lights, Diwali. This is celebrated more in West Bengal which essentially comprises of eating a special dish cooked with 14 different leafy vegetables together and is called 14 Saag or Choddo (means 14) Saag. Despite these indigenous festivals dedicated to remembering the dead, Indians enthusiastically celebrate Halloween especially due to a large number of Multi-National Companies operating here. Halloween is most prevalent as an office celebration as well as celebrated in city pubs, restaurants, lounges, and bars.
Halloween celebrations have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. This this is one such festival that has traveled far and wide across the globe. It engages countless individuals in a fun celebration. Halloween has been embraced by people of various cultures. It has become a part of their list of festivals too. Now that you know so much about this global festival of Halloween. What are you waiting for? start making your own preparations for it. Have fun and frolic with Halloween games. Until then Happy Halloween folks!
Also, read about how to bring Halloween at work.
Bidisha Banik is a travel blogger, homebound soul, lazy painter, eccentric and a super confused soul. She love reading, eating, making zentangle patterns,getting clicked, all of these coupled with travelling is what makes life worthwhile.
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