Halloween Around the World

Halloween is one of the most celebrated holidays in America and around the world. It is a time where children and adults dress in Halloween costumes and walk around their neighborhoods to get candy; or what is also known as “Trick-or-treating.” Many people think Halloween is mostly an American tradition, however, it’s not. While it may not be called Halloween in other countries or celebrated in quite the same way, it is celebrated across the world.

In Ireland and Scotland, people celebrate Halloween with games, bonfires, and traditional foods like barmbrack, which is Ireland fruitcake that contains coins, rings, and buttons for fortune telling. Ireland is what people consider the origins, or the birthplace, of Halloween. Its origins branch from ancient Celtic to Pagan rituals, and a festival called Samhain or Samhuinn that took place thousands of years ago.

In Mexico, Halloween, or Dìa de los Muertos, is celebrated with in-home altars that are full of fruits, peanuts, soda, hot chocolate, turkey, water, and stacks of tortillas. It is also celebrated with a special holiday called Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead), which is left as offerings to weary ghosts. Dìa de los Muertos is celebrated from November 1 to November 2 in honor of those who have passed away. For the souls of children, they leave out toys and candies while for the souls of adults, families leave out cigarettes and shots of mezcal.

For the past 21 years, at the end of October, almost 4000 people dressed in Halloween costumes gather for the Kawasaki Halloween Parade in Kawasaki, Japan. It is the biggest parade in Japan. However, not everyone can simply join in the parade. The Kawasaki Halloween Parade has strict guidelines and standards, and applications have to be submitted two months before the parade begins.

In Italy, on November 1, a holiday known as Ognissanti is celebrated, although the festivities usually begin a few days before the first. People leave fresh flowers – usually chrysanthemums – on the graves of loved ones who have passed away and on those of complete strangers as well, which makes the country’s cemeteries into a beautiful display of colors. They also pay respects to the departed by placing a red candle by the window at sunset and also setting a place at the table for those spirits they hope will visit.

In the Philippines, Pangangaluluwa is a tradition in which children go door to door, usually in costumes, and sing and ask for prayers for those stuck in purgatory. The rituals have increasingly been replaced by trick-or-treating over the years which has led some towns to work tirelessly to try to revive Pangangaluluwa as a way of keeping the tradition alive, and as a local fundraiser.

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