Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays and one of my most favorite. The costumes, the candy, the stories…there is no other holiday like the one that takes place October 31st each year. In America, we celebrate this fun holiday with trick-or-treating, candy, costume parties, and games, but how is Halloween celebrated in other parts of the world?
In Mexico, Spain, and Latin America, Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on November 2nd, but is really a three-day celebration that commences on October 31st. Dia de Los Muertos, or as some call it All Soul’s Day, honors the dead who are believed to return to their homes on the night of Halloween. Many families in these countries build altars to honor their deceased relatives and decorate with candy, flowers, photographs, the favorite foods and drinks of the deceased, and more. The festivities also include breads and other foods shaped like skeletons and skulls, and candles are burned to help the deceased find the way home.
Halloween originated in Ireland, and they celebrate similarly to the United States. Bonfires are lit and children dress up in their costumes, going trick-or-treating around their neighborhoods. People attend parties, play games, bob for apples, and go on treasure hunts. The Irish also play a game where cards are laid down with candy or coins below, and when someone chooses a card, they receive whatever prize is found underneath.
In China, Halloween, or Teng Chieh as it is called there, is celebrated by the lighting of lanterns and the offering of food and water to guide the spirits of their deceased loved ones, similar to Mexico, Spain, and Latin America.
Interestingly, Korea celebrates their version of Halloween in August, when they visit the tombs of their families and offer food, drinks, and flowers as a sign of respect for the deceased.
Halloween is celebrated in many ways around the world. Rich with culture and thriving with diversity, the spirit of Halloween is palpable. It’s one of my favorite holidays…is it one of yours?
Photo credit: authorstream.com
How do you celebrate Halloween? Comment below!