In many countries, Halloween is a time honoured tradition to honour the dead and ward off wayward spirits. As one of the world’s oldest holidays, it dates back thousands of years. Halloween is celebrated today in many countless ways and in many different countries all around the globe. As we get ready in Canada to carve our pumpkins, dress up in costumes, give out candy and watch scary movies let’s explore a few of the ways people celebrate Halloween time around the world.
Samhain Festivities ~ Scotland and Ireland
Halloween is considered to have originated from the Celtic traditions of Scotland and Ireland. To mark Samhain, the Irish and the Scots celebrate with bonfires, ancient games, and foods such as turnips, apples and apple cider, gourds, nuts, mulled wines, corn, mugwort tea, pumpkin, and squash. Celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome the harvest and usher in the darker half of the year. Celebrants believe that the barriers between the physical world and the spirit world break down during Samhain.
Dia de los Muertos ~ Mexico and Spain
Mexico and Spain celebrate Dia de Los Muertos or All Souls’ Day, on November 2nd. It is a day on which families honour their deceased relatives with iconic costumes, feasts and parades. It’s believed that the dead return to walk the earth during this holiday. Family members get together to tell funny stories about deceased relatives and remember how they lived. They construct alters and adorn them with flowers, photographs, candies and food.
Pangagaluluwa ~ Phillipeans
This Filipino version of Halloween, known as Pangagaluluwa, is a folk tradition where children travel from house to house offering a song in exchange for gifts such as food, and candies. The meaning of this tradition is that kids sing for the souls of those who are in purgatory to help them get to heaven.
Halloween ~ Romania
Halloween in Romania is celebrated around the myth of Dracula, a 15th-century Romanian prince who had the nickname of “Vlad the Impaler”. The city of Sighisoara is where Vlad the Impaler was born and is now the site of the country’s most popular Halloween festivities which include historical reenactments of the Transylvania witch trials.
Halloween is celebrated in countless ways around the world but they all share a history and traditions.
If you could go anywhere to celebrate Halloween, where in the world would you go?