1. Mexico – Día de los Muertos
Día de los Muertos or “Day of the dead” is a traditional Mexican holiday that honors the dead and is celebrated annually on November 1st and 2nd. Through those days, participants build private altars called ofrendas to honor the departed with sugar skulls and their favorite processions.
2. Romania – The Legend of Dracula
Halloween in Romania has a special tradition of sucking blood. Ok, maybe not for real. But the infamous folklore of Dracula does originate in Transylvania, Romania, which is perfect for adding just a little extra spook when trick-or-treating.
3. Germany – Süßes oder Saures
In German, “Süßes oder Saures” translates into “Trick or Treating”. While Halloween isn’t a historic tradition there, many Germans are well aware of the American customs and have been known to throw a pretty wild Halloween party.
4. China – Hungry Ghost Festival
The Hungry Ghost Festival or the “Yu Lan Jie” is a traditional Buddhist and Taoist festival held throughout Asian countries in which ghosts of the deceased are said to visit the living. Like Japan’s Bon Odori, this holiday begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar. Festivities include ritualistic food offerings, burning incense, and sharing fine goods with the ghosts of the dead.
5. Ireland and Scotland – Samhain
Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest months and the start of Winter. It’s traditionally celebrated from sunset on October 31st to sunset November 1st–an ideal time for Neopagans to practice their magic and witchcraft.
6. England – Guy Fawkes Night
While Halloween traditions of costumes and candies (or excessive alcohol depending on your age) are now seen across most Western counties, England takes an extra night to don masks too. “Guy Fawkes Night” finds its origins on November 5th, 1605, when Guy Fawkes’ “Gunpowder Plot” to blow up the Houses of Parliament was ultimately foiled. Today, the people celebrate with processions, bon fires, and of course, Guy Fawkes masks!
7. Australian Halloween
The average temperature of Australia in October is 86°F. So needless to say, the beach is always a pretty good option for an Australian Halloween!
8. Japan – Obon
In Japan, the Obon festival finds revelers dawning the traditional Yukata and Happi dress to celebrate gratefulness of their deceased ancestors. As a Summer festival, the holiday period typically lasts from the 15th day of the 7th lunar month.
9. Austria – Seleenwoche
In Austria, Seleenwoche is known as All Souls Week. Between October 30th and November 8th, Austrians offer to the dead gifts of bread, candles, and water before going to sleep at night. Sleep tight!
10. Czech Republic – Dušičky
Dušičky is a sober holiday that falls on November 2nd in which families of those deceased pay their respects to their loved ones. Rather than emphasizing the festivities of traditionally associated with Halloween, Dušičky allows people an opportunity to share their reverence for the departed with candles, flowers, and wreathes.
11. South Korea – Chuseok
12. Nepal – Gai Jatra
Gai Jatra, or “Cow Festival” is a celebratory festival in memory of family members who died during the preceding year. During a vibrant procession through the steets, it’s believed that a participating cow will guide their spirits in their journey to heaven.
13. Cambodia – Pchum Ben
Pchum Ben is a 15-day Cambodian religious festival set to pay homage to ancestors as far back as 7 generations. It’s tradition that Monks chant continuously without sleeping as a prelude to the gates of Hell opening. When Hell’s gates are opened, it’s said that the spirits of dead roam free, which is why families also offer food and gifts to please them–while others participate in annual buffalo-racing ceremonies!
14. Halloween in the United States
Halloween in America occurs every year on the same date, October 31st. As a child, traditions range from dressing up in costume, trick-or-treating for candy, scary movies, haunted houses, and carving pumpkins into Jack-o’-lanterns. As an adult, traditions range from tending to every one of your child’s sugar-induced needs, toilet paper related acts of vandalism, and public intoxication.
15. Have a safe and happy Halloween!!!
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