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Contemporary western cultures and traditions are more about feeling good and being excited, and the way we typically celebrate our holidays is proof of that. Halloween celebration, like other ancient festivities still being celebrated around the world share many similarities.  On Halloween, people imitate the ancient Samhain tradition and culture of dressing like ghosts to trick spirits as a way to avoid being harmed and in other places around the world, paying tribute to the dead, ghosts or throwing parties for corpses, happens all the time. The idea of supernatural beings and ghosts having an impact on human life is universal. Below is a collection of celebrations and rituals taking place in other countries that are not different from Halloween.

No.

12 Ways, The Rest Of The World, Celebrates Halloween

1.    

Día De Los Muertos // Mexico 

2.    

Day of Dracula//Romania

3.   

Kawasaki Halloween parade // Japan 

4.   

Pangangaluluwa // The Philippines

5.   

The Hungry Ghost Festival // Hong Kong 

6.   

Pitru Paksha // India

7.   

Dzień Zaduszny // Poland

8.   

Awuru Odo Festival // Nigeria

9.   

Pchum Ben // Cambodia

10. 

Ognissanti // Italy

11. 

Guy Fawkes Day // England

12. 

Famadihana // Madagascar

 

Ireland and Scotland are birthplaces of modern Halloween, with origins from ancient Celtic and Pagan rituals called Samhain. These two countries celebrate Halloween in costumes, bonfires, games, traditional, Irish fruitcakes for fortunetelling amidst lots of spooky drama. 

  1. Día De Los Muertos // Mexico

In Mexico and other Latin American areas, November 1 and November 2 are reserved for the  Día de Los Muertos  (meaning Day of the Dead) festivities which honor people who have passed on.  According to this tradition, people believe that October 31st midnight is the time the Gates of Heaven opens up every year, allowing the souls of children to come back to the earth to reunite and spend 24 hours with their families. And on November 2, adult souls also return from heaven to partake in the celebration.

During the holiday, people mount indoor altars on which they display lots of fruits, turkey, peanuts, hot chocolate, stacks of tortillas, soda, water, and a distinct holiday bread referred to as Pan de Muerto (meaning bread of the dead), and is placed as offerings for ghosts that appear weary. When it comes to the souls of children, toys and candy are left there and for adult souls; shots of mezcal and cigarettes.

  1. Day of Dracula//Romania

images credit to Mr Brian

Vlad “The Impaler“ is the purported home of Tepes at Bran Castle, located in Transylvania, Romania, though the debate whether it was actually his castle continues and also whether he ever lived there let alone visited the castle. In Romania, various tourist company guides offer inclusive travel packages and parties for thousands of visitors to Count Dracula’s castle during Halloween

 

  1. Kawasaki Halloween parade // Japan

image credit to akari

It’s been 21 years since the end of every October has always been celebrated by about 4000 enthusiasts wearing Halloween-like costumes and coming into Kawasaki, Japan, outside Tokyo to take part in the Kawasaki Halloween parade. This massive holiday celebration is the biggest of that kind in Japan. The festival is not for everyone, though, and for that reason, it has strict guidelines, registration, fees, and restrictions for every participant. Watching the festivities is free, though.

  1. Pangangaluluwa // The Philippines

 image credit to prideandprejudiced.

Like Halloween, Pangangaluluwa is a traditional celebration that involves children in the Philippines going door-to-door and mostly in costumes, singing and asking for prayers for people who passed away, and their souls got stuck in purgatory. Over the years, this tradition has been increasingly replaced by trick-or-treating and to remedy the situation some Filipino towns are working hard to revamp the Pangangaluluwa for the pride of keeping their tradition alive together with the local fundraising it promotes.

 

  1. The Hungry Ghost Festival // Hong Kong

Between mid-August to mid-September around the 15th day within the 7th lunar month, people in Hong Kong sacrifice their time for the celebration of The Hungry Ghost festival. Many Asians live with the belief that this time of the year is a particularly restless period for spirits. This is more or less like how Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic and Pagan traditions. The hungry ghost festival in Japan is a way to feed these restless spirits by offering them food and money for use in the afterlife. The festival is only a part of a much longer celebration within the month that involves a bunny of papers and food offerings.

 

  1. Pitru Paksha // India

Pitru Paksha is a Halloween-like celebration in India that happens for 16 days at the time of the second Paksha of the Hindu Lunar month called Bhadrapada. Hindu religion holds that upon someone’s death, the god of death, Yama takes the person’s soul to purgatory, and there, they meet their family’s last three generations. When it’s Paksha, those souls are given a brief return to earth where they get to meet their families again.

 

In order to reserve a place for your family in the afterlife, you’re obliged to perform the Shraddha ritual, which involves a fire ritual. Without the Shraddha, the soul will be stuck on earth for eternity. The festivities involve families offering food to the dead like Kheer such as sweet rice and milk, sweet porridge, spring beans rice, lentils, and pumpkins, cooked in either copper or silver and served on leaves of bananas.

  1. Dzień Zaduszny // Poland

image credit to SAURABHAVNA

In Poland every early November, people visit cemeteries and go to graveyards to honor the souls of their families. Have you ever heard of All Soul’s Day in the catholic?  Dzień Zaduszny is pretty much the same way. The celebration incorporates the use of flowers, candles and prayers for one’s departed relatives. The second day involves people attending the requiem to honor the souls of their dead relatives.

  1. Awuru Odo Festival // Nigeria

image credit to mentalfloss
In Nigeria, the Awuru Odo Festival celebrates the return of friends who departed and have come back to meet the living again. The festival goes on for six months and includes celebration by way of feasts, music, and Masks. Then the death returns to the spirit world. Though the Odo festival is so important, it happens once in two years, when it’s believed that the spirits would be back to earth again

  1. Pchum Ben // Cambodia

image credit to yourphnompenh
Between September ending and mid-October, Buddhist believers in Cambodia celebrate their religious holiday, Pchum Ben. The holiday is for celebrating the dead. People offer special food which includes sweet sticky rice crackers, packaged in banana leaves which they take to temples alongside other sacrifices and flowers to pay homage to their ancestors. During this time, Cambodians also celebrate the elderly.

  1. Ognissanti // Italy

image credit to italylogue.com
November 1 is the date Italians celebrate the All Saints Day national holiday. The Ognissanti usually start and last a few days before people start bringing fresh flowers and mostly chrysanthemums to leave on the graves of their loved ones and even those of complete strangers. This usually makes cemeteries beautiful sites, sparkling with colors. In addition, Italians as well honor the dead by making sure that at sunset, they place large candles on their windows and set the table with the belief that those honored spirits will come and visit them

  1. Guy Fawkes Day // England


When Martin Luther’s protestant transformation started, Halloween faded in England. English people began celebrating November 5. Guy Fawkes Day, also referred to as bonfire commemorates the failed plot by disgruntled Catholics to blow up parliament and it even involved King James 1, a Protestant. During this festival, they come with parades, fireworks, bonfires as well as Fawkes’ effigies. However, a lot of Brits are disgruntled because American-style Halloween is pushing to erase November 5. British people were polled, and up to 45% portrayed Halloween as“an unwelcome American cultural import.”

  1. Famadihana // Madagascar


In a more practical fashion unlike Halloween in the west, the Merina people of Madagascar pay homage to the dead in a festival named Famadihana, which translates as the turning of the bones. This describes exactly how they perform the ritual. They would exhume the corpses of dead family members every seven years to give them a cleaning and party in a highly ritualized fashion. The process involves unwrapping the corpses, perfuming, and rewrapping them in scarves. Also, music, drinking, and happy excitement are incorporated as family members take photos with the bodies on their laps after which the bodies are danced with and paraded on their heads before being returned to the grave alongside money, photos and drinks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Halloween celebrated all over the world?

Halloween is one of the leading and oldest holidays still being celebrated by millions across countries. Most countries have their own versions of Halloween. Also, American-style Halloween is being imported into other traditional festivals outside America, for example, in Britain. North America and Canada have the largest Halloween enthusiasts.

 

Where can I purchase cheap Halloween costumes?

Shoppers know Walmart for its affordable prices and especially for the kid and baby Halloween costumes which get the best deals. Women costume prices are not left out, though. Also, full-priced sales begin in October, and you can as well go to Costume SuperCenter online to shop cheaply. Making your character costume yourself and buying only staple pieces, is a great idea too. 

What countries do not celebrate Halloween?

There are quite several countries around the world that do not identify with all that Halloween entails. They are the UK, Mexico, Austria, China, and Germany. China most focuses on commercializing Halloween by targeting an audience as it does for most festivals.


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