Halloween is one of the most special holidays in the United States. It is the time for candies, horror movie marathons and dressing up.
Although most Americans spend the holiday attending parties or going trick-or-treating, other countries have their own way to celebrate the spookiest night of the year.
Halloween traditions from around the world
Samhain from Ireland and Scotland
Modern Halloween is said to have originated from Ireland, with its origins stemming from ancient Pagan and Celtic rituals and a festival called Samhain, meaning the end of the light half of the year.
Today, both Ireland and Scotland celebrate Halloween with bonfires, games and eating traditional foods like barmbrack, which is an Irish fruitcake that has buttons, coins and rings for fortunetelling. Rings mean marriage and coins mean wealth.
Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico
From November 1 to November 2, Mexico and other parts of Latin America celebrate Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead to honor those who have already passed away.
It is believed that the Gates of Heaven open up at midnight on October 31 and the souls return to Earth to be reunited with their loved ones who are still alive, and it is said that they are given 24 hours.
The said holiday is celebrated with altars full of peanuts, fruits, soda, turkey, hot chocolate, water, tortillas and a special holiday bread called pan de muerto or bread of the dead. These are left as offerings for ghosts. Toys and candies are also left at the altar for the souls of children, souls of adults get cigarettes and shots of mezcal.
Day of Dracula in Romania
In Transylvania, Romania, people from around the world would travel to celebrate Halloween at the home of Vlad the Impaler at Bran Castle.
There are a lot of guides and inclusive travel packages in Romania that offer parties and tours at Count Dracula's castle for Halloween.
Kawasaki Halloween parade in Japan
At the end of every October for the past two decades, around 4,000 costumed Halloween enthusiasts gather in Kawasaki for the Kawasaki Halloween Parade. It is the biggest parade of its kind in Japan.
However, not everyone can simply join in the parade. The parade has strict guidelines and standards, so you have to apply for entry two months before the parade begins.
Pangangaluluwa in The Philippines
Pangangaluluwa is a tradition in the Philippines where children go door to door where they sing and ask for prayers for those who are stuck in purgatory, all while wearing costumes.
The ritual have been merged with trick-or-treating over the years, but some towns are reviving the original tradition as a way to keep it alive.
The Hungry Ghost Festival in Hong Kong
On the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, which is around August to September, the residents of Hong Kong celebrate the Hungry Ghost Festival.
People believe that spirits get restless and they begin to roam the Earth. The festival is a way to feed the spirits both the money and foot that they need for the afterlife.
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