In America, people associate Halloween with pumpkins, costumes, candy, and spooky stories or ghosts but, around the world, it could be a little different. The holiday might look slightly different this year since we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, but we can reminisce on years past.
If most places in the U.S. celebrate Halloween in much the same way, one city that stands apart is New Orleans. This town loves both to party and voodoo, so one can find things here they couldn’t anywhere else, from street parties to voodoo-themed art displays.
Seeing as how the origin of modern-day Halloween traces back to the ancient Celts, it comes as no surprise that the Irish have their own unique way of celebrating the holiday. If for Americans, simply any kind of candy on Halloween will do, for the Irish it’s not just the candy that is important, but a sweet bread called Barnbrack, which serves as its official Halloween dessert.
Not all countries celebrate Halloween, and some are only just beginning to adopt it.
England falls in this category because it already has a holiday on November 5, Guy Fawkes Day, which dates back to 1605. The day looks back on the infamous Gunpowder Plot, when Catholics tried to blow up Parliament and King James I in 1605. Film enthusiasts will recognize it from the movie V for Vendetta. Halloween and Guy Fawkes Day clashed at first, but now many are attempting to merge traditions.
In Scotland, locals say that a certain Halloween ritual will tell you if you and your lover are truly meant to be: Throw nuts into a fire.
If they fracture and crack loudly, it looks like you won’t be hearing wedding bells any time soon. If they roast quietly, your relationship will be nothing but smooth sailing.
About Germany, Halloween only started to catch on in Bavaria rou ghly 20 years ago. Some still resist the holiday, but others celebrate it by attending the Pumpkin Festival in Retzer Land or touring the old ruins of Burg Frankenstein castle, which is where the Frankenstein horror story began.
However, in the original Bram Stoker novel, Dracula’s castle can be found in Transylvania, a region in central Romania. Bran Castle, one of several castles associated with the Dracula legend, is open for a dance party on All Hallows Eve.
In China, the U.S. version of Halloween is only really celebrated among expat communities. However, China does have its own equivalent of the Day of the Dead, even though actually occurs not on one day, but several. It is called the Hungry Ghost Festival, and it involves honoring good spirits as well as avoiding evil ones.
Also Chinese communities in Malaysia and Singapore celebrate the Hungry Ghost Festival, and part of its celebration includes entertaining performances from opera to puppet shows.
Of course, Halloween is not a holiday that is native to Japan, but as has happened with other countries, the Land of the Rising Sun has slowly been adopting it. What makes Halloween particularly fun and exciting in Tokyo and other big cities is the intense costuming. We already know that cosplay is already a huge part of Japanese youth culture, so dressing up for Halloween is a piece of cake for those who celebrate it.
In India, Halloween isn’t just about costumes and cobwebs, but it’s especially about food: many restaurants all over the country will prepare Halloween-themed menus just for this day.
The most famous Halloweencelebration is, in any case, Mexico’s Day of the Dead. Technically it’s not exactly Halloween, but a day for people to honor their deceased friends and family, and the holiday occurs on November 2. Mexicans believe that on this day, spirits can come visit the world of the living and the celebrations in their honor are absolutely pictoresque. This is how All Souls’ Day is celebrated around the globe.
Images from Web – Google Research