Halloween around the world


It’s time to get candy from our neighbors, go to haunted houses, and throw Halloween parties. It is Halloween! Every year, children dress up in fun costumes pretending to be someone they are not and go trick-or-treating. Halloween is celebrated differently in other countries around the world.

Ireland is the birthplace of Halloween. The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival in County Meath is where Halloween began more than 2,000 years ago. The festival marks the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year. They believed that this was a time of transition, where the spirits of all who had died since the last Halloween moved on to the next life. In Ireland, the children used radishes to carry their treats in, because they didn’t have pumpkins yet. 

In Ireland and Canada, Halloween is pretty similar to the US. There are bonfires and children dress up in fun costumes. They eat fruitcake called ‘barnbrack’ at Halloween. People say the surprise inside the cake can foretell the future.  Example if there is a ring inside the cake, it means you will soon be married before next Halloween, and a piece of straw means there is a financially successful year ahead.

October is the month when Cambodian people celebrate the festival of P’chum Ben. In Cambodia, Buddhists honor the dead during a festival called P’chum Ben. P’chum Ben is 15 days in the fall, people bring sweet sticky rice and beans wrapped in banana leaves to temples, where they gather to hear music and speeches by monks. By doing this, Cambodians show respect for their ancestors. Everyone goes to the pagoda every year to honor this tradition, and nobody complains.

Day of the Dead is celebrated over several days, from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. It’s not Halloween at all. All Souls Day comes to life in Mexico. The celebration offers a chance to remember the deceased, tell their stories and celebrate their lives. Family feasts, skull-shaped sweets, lots of tequila, dancing and mariachi music, as well as parades of people dressed as skeletons, all ensure that one’s ancestors are well remembered. The celebration is embraced across Mexico, with huge festivities even in the smallest of villages.

Catholics in Germany celebrate Halloween on Nov. 1, but it is called All Saints Day to honor memories of saints and dead family members. They hide their knives so the returning spirits don’t hurt them. All Saints Day is spent attending church. Also, people visit and remember dead family members, usually graveside.

The Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated throughout Hong Kong and China for a whole month. This year was from Aug. 1st  to Sept.12. Festivities include parades, operas, burning incense, food for the dead and performances to entertain the spirits.

“Festival of the Ancestors” is a Voodoo holiday celebrated in parts of Haiti and other Voodoo communities around the world. Voodoo is practiced in the Caribbean and the southern U.S., involving magic and the worship of spirits. People take part by lighting candles and journeying to their ancestors’ burial places.

America is not the only place in the world that celebrates Halloween. A lot of other countries celebrate a type of Halloween. Around the world, people celebrate Halloween or their past ancestors.