Halloween is a celebration observed in many countries. But did you know that not all countries celebrate this tradition? Not all kids in the world prepare their Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat bags. The United States and Canada have made Halloween celebration popular until this day. Although it is not celebrated in other countries, some Halloween-like traditions are celebrated at the end of October or the beginning of November.
Below are the 6 Halloween-like traditions around the world.
1. Mexico – Dia de Los Muertos
Dia de Los Muertos or ‘The Day of the Dead’ is being celebrated by Mexico on November 1 and 2 every year. People set up altars and prepare food and drinks as their way to honor their deceased loved ones. Most of the families burn incense and candles as they believe it will help a soul find his way home. Also, wash bins are always available, so the departed loved ones can clean up prior to eating their favorite dish. The Day of the Dead is also celebrated in Latin America and Spain.
2. Great Britain – Guy Fawkes Day
Guy Fawkes Day with Bonfire Night is celebrated every 5th day of November in Great Britain. It is for the commemoration of King James I’s survival from the attempt of his life (Gunpowder Plot) and the same day Guy Fawkes (a member of the group who planned the Gunpowder Plot) was arrested. British are celebrating this day of the year with fireworks, bonfires, and food.
3. Austria – Seleenwoche
Every year from October 30 to November 8, Austria celebrates Seleenwoche to remember dead souls and to welcome them back. Water, bread and lamplight are provided for them. And on the night of All Saints Day (November 1), families visit the graveyard with lanterns and leave them for their departed loved ones. November 2, the following day, is All Souls Day when families remember and pray for their souls.
4. Germany – All Saints Day
Just like the Austrian festival (Seleenwoche), Southern Germany observed Halloween as All Saints Day from October 30 to November 8. Protestants and Catholics attend church and honor the departed souls of their loved ones during this time of the year. As a tradition, Germans also hide their knives at home to protect the returning spirits from harm when they visit their homes.
5. China– Teng Chieh
One of the unique Halloween festivals around the world is China’s Teng Chieh. It is known as the Lantern Festival and the end of the Chinese New Year celebration. Traditional food is provided to their departed loved ones. Water is available too. And to remember their deceased loved ones, Chinese people lit the small paper boats, hanging light and night bonfires to free their souls.
6. Ireland and Scotland – Samhain
Samhain is traditionally celebrated from 31st of October to 1st of November to mark the end of the harvest time and the start of the winter or ‘darker half’ of the year. It is a pagan religious festival and believed as the start of the year and the easiest time to reach or communicate with the dead. People who celebrate this tradition have food and other offerings in their homes or along the road. They believe that they can help spirits find their way by setting up empty chairs by the fireplace and also by lighting the candles.