My son absolutely adores Halloween. Steve even said to me tonight that he thinks it could possibly be Jack’s most favourite part of the year. He loves all the treats – Halloween chocolate and sweeties and getting together with his friends in fun costumes. He’s also shown so much more of an interest this year in how it is celebrated around the world so we thought we’d find out a little more!
Did you know that Ireland is apparently where Halloween originated from? Not the USA as some people think because of how ‘all out’ Americans go! It is still celebrated much as a traditional Halloween here is – trick or treating, bobbing for apples and those kind of things.
Apparently it is the custom in Belgium to light candles for dead loved ones on Halloween night. There seems to be many variations on this theme across the world with people remembering their loved ones.
There is a Pumpkin festival in Austria called Kurbisfest im Retzer Land. Some people also believe that if they leave bread, water, and a lighted lamp out, dead souls will be welcomed back to earth for that night.
Mexico and some other Latin countries
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is the popular celebration in these regions. People believe that on October the 31st, spirits visit their families and then depart again on November 2nd. The families set up decorations and food for the arrival of the spirits. This time period represents a celebration of death as opposed to mourning. Have you seen the film Coco? It serves as a wonderful explanation for this day.
Salem in the USA
I actually know of someone visiting Salem over Halloween this year and am super jealous! Known as Witches’ Town, Salem has the Haunted Happenings every Halloween. Salem is, of course, known for famous witch trials hundreds of years ago.
Tickets sell out quickly and it is easy to see why – every year, a fantastic party occurs at Frankenstein Castle in Darmstadt. It offers stage shows, a whole lot of attractions and a spooky dinner!
Would you believe that the day is still not celebrated fully in France? Seen as primarily an American tradition, it didn’t come into popularity until the late nineties and even now, isn’t as popular in the country as it is in other countries across the world!
Finally, I had to talk a little about this old country here, didn’t I? Our Halloween is more akin to the American celebrations nowadays although not quite as over the top as they do it! Our kids enjoy dressing in their scary costumes, going trick or treating and meeting with friends to do so. There may occasionally be Halloween parties with suitably spooky food and party games – such as apple bobbing – and we also love a good spooky story or film or two!
Tradition in this country – well, definitely in my area at least – is that if you want to have trick or treaters at your door, you have a lit pumpkin outside your door or at your window so people can see you are happy for them to knock. This means that the elderly or those with very young children who don’t want to be disturbed won’t be.
What is your favourite Halloween tradition from around the world? How do you celebrate Halloween?