Although most Americans spend Halloween costumes and sweets or treats, other countries have their own festival rituals. Here are 12 Halloween (and Halloween-like) traditions from around the world.
. 1 Samhain // Ireland and Scotland
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Ireland is considered the birthplace of modern Halloween. or Samhuinn (end of the light semester), which took place thousands of years ago. Today, Ireland and Scotland are celebrating Halloween with bonfires, games and traditional foods such as Barmbrack an Irish pie containing coins, buttons and rings for fortune telling. For example, rings mean marriage, while coins mean prosperity in the coming year.
. 2 Día de los Muertos // Mexico
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From 1st to 2nd November Mexico and parts of Latin America celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead ) in honor of the deceased. It is believed that the sky gates open at midnight on October 31, and the souls of the children return to Earth for 24 hours to be reunited with their families. On the 2nd of November, the souls of adults come down from heaven to attend the celebrations.
The holiday is celebrated with house altars with fruits, peanuts, turkey, soda, hot chocolate, water, stacking tortillas and much more a special holiday bread called pan de muerto (Bread of the Dead), which is offered as an offering is left for tired ghosts. For the souls of children, the families do without toys and sweets, for the adults cigarettes and mezcal.
. 3 Day of Dracula // Romania
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People from all over the world flock to Vlad" The Impaler "Tepes in Törzburg in Transylvania, Romania to celebrate Halloween (though it was never his castle, and there is a long-running debate about whether he has ever visited the site). In Romania, there are a number of travel guides and inclusive travel packages that offer tours and parties in Count Dracula's castle on Halloween.
. 4 Kawasaki Halloween parade // Japan
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In late October, nearly 4000 costumed Halloween enthusiasts from around the world have gathered in Kawasaki, just outside of Tokyo, for the Kawasaki Halloween Parade, the largest parade of its kind in Japan. However, not everyone can just take part in the celebrations. The Kawasaki Halloween Parade is subject to strict guidelines and standards for participation. You must therefore apply for admission before the start of the parade and pay a fee (but viewing is free).
. 5 Pangangaluluwa // The Philippines
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Pangangaluluwa is a tradition in the Philippines where children go door to door, often in costumes, where they sing and ask for prayers for those who are in purgatory. While the rituals have been increasingly replaced by tricks or tricks over the years, some cities are working to revive Pangangaluluwa to keep the tradition alive and as a local fundraiser.
. 6 The Hungry Ghost Festival // Hong Kong
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On the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, which takes place between mid-August and mid-September Hong Kong celebrates the Hungry Ghost Festival. In some parts of East Asia, people believe spirits are getting restless at this time of year and starting to roam the world. The festival is a way to "feed" these ghosts with the food and money they need for life after death. It is part of a larger one-month celebration that includes burning paper and dining.
. 7 Pitru Paksha // India
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During the second Paksha of the Hindu lunar month Bhadrapada, many people celebrate Pitru Paksha for 16 days. In the Hindu religion, it is believed that Yama, the Hindu god of death, brings his soul to purgatory, where they will find the last three generations of a family when a person dies. During Pitru Paksha, the souls are allowed to return to Earth for a short time and be with their families.
In order to secure the place of her family in the hereafter, one must perform the ritual of Shraddha which also includes a fire ritual. If Shraddha is not performed, the soul will wander forever over the earth. During the Pitru Paksha, families offer dead foods such as Kheer (sweet rice and milk), lapsi (sweet porridge), rice, lentils, spring beans and pumpkins cooked in silver or copper pots and pans served on banana leaves.
. 8 Dzień Zaduszny // Poland
At the beginning of November, people across Poland travel to cemeteries to visit the graves of their family members (Dzień Zaduszny corresponds to the All Souls' Day for Catholics in Poland). The holiday is celebrated with candles, flowers and a sacrificial prayer for deceased relatives. On the second day, people attend a requiem mass for the souls of the dead.
. 9 Awuru Odo Festival // Nigeria
The Awuru Odo Festival marks the return of deceased friends and family members to the living. The holiday, lasting up to six months, is celebrated with festivals, music and masks before the dead return to the spirit world. Although the Odo Festival is an important ritual, it happens every two years, assuming that the spirits will return to Earth.
10th Pchum Ben // Cambodia
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From late September to mid-October, Buddhist families gather to celebrate the religious holiday of Pchum Ben dead sweet glutinous rice and beans in banana leaves and visit temples to offer baskets of flowers to respect their deceased ancestors. It's also a time when people celebrate older people.
. 11 Ognissanti // Italy
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All Saints Day, November 1st, is a national holiday in Italy. Better known as Ognissanti, the festivities usually begin a few days earlier when people begin to leave fresh flowers – usually chrysanthemums – on the graves of departed relatives and strangers, transforming the country's cemeteries into beautiful colors , Italians also honor the deceased by putting a red candle in the window at sunset and giving a seat to the spirits they hope to visit
12. All Saints 'Day and All Saints' Day // Worldwide
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On November 1, many Catholics around the world celebrate All Saints' Day It is an annual time to celebrate the lives of all Saints who died for their Catholic faith, as well as to honor the souls of the deceased family members. To observe the holidays, people go to Mass and visit the graves of their loved ones.
While the event is celebrated worldwide, Germany has its own tradition: many hide their kitchen knives so that recurrent ghosts do not accidentally emerge damaged (or use the same knives to harm the living).
A version of this article first ran in 2017.