Halloween may be one of the biggest (and important) holidays in America, but the said holiday has different versions of how people celebrate it throughout the world. From America, Europe, to Latin America, such countries have their own festivals celebrating the afterlife, the practices and traditions vary from one country to the other. We’ve gathered a list of how countries celebrate the season of spooks!
Mexico: Día de Los Muertos
Photo by: AGCuesta on Shutterstock
When it comes to Halloween, Mexico and Spain are famous for their festival “Día de Los Muertos”, also known as the “Day of the Dead”. The said festival is celebrated annually on November 1 and 2. Locals dress up as their ancestors or paint “sugar skulls” all over their faces, as well as decorate the graves of their ancestors and spend their time there. It is their belief that during the midnight of October 31st, the spirits would return to the world of the living for one day to be with their families. They also build private altars in which they call “ofrendas”, offering gifts like food and tequila to their deceased loved ones. Also, the classic sugar skull paintings can be seen everywhere during this time.
Photo by: Sean Locke Photography on Shutterstock
One of America’s favorite holidays, Halloween, always falls on October 31. It wasn’t celebrated until the 19th century, wherein flocks of Scottish and Irish immigrants came and introduced the concept of celebrating Halloween. In the US, Halloween involves a lot of trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, spooky costumes, and eating a lot of candy without judgment. Not to mention parties next door, games, and a whole lot of horror movies. In other parts of the States, they celebrate the holiday by joining parades, hosting costume parties, and going to theme parks as well as Halloween balls.
China: The Hungry Ghost Festival
Photo by: nokhook on Shutterstock
The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated all throughout Hongkong and China for a whole month. According to the Chinese calendar, the Ghost Festival is held during the 15th night of the seventh month. The festivities include parades, staging operas, burning incense, and offering food for the dead to entertain and praise the deities and spirits. Apart from that, locals would tend roadside fires and burn fake money and other offerings for ghosts and ancestors to use in the afterlife. Food is also left out to satiate the appetite of hungry ghosts and spirits.
England: Guy Fawkes Day
Photo by: Glynnis Jones on Shutterstock
On the evening of November 5, bonfires are lit all throughout the streets of England. Effigies are burned and fireworks are set off. These festivities were designed to commemorate the notorious English traitor, Guy Fawkes (he tried to blow up England’s parliament building).
Haiti: Fed Gede
Fed Gede, also known as “Festival of the Ancestors” is a Voodoo holiday celebrated in parts of Haiti and other voodoo communities all throughout the world. The festival is held during either or both of the first two days of November. People take part in the celebration by dressing up, dancing, going to their ancestors’ burial places, lighting candles, and drinking rum infused with chilies. In this way, spirits are honored and their protection is gained for the coming year.
Photo by Kiselev Andrey Valerevich on Shutterstock