Pumpkin carving, the now classic pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice latter, costume parties and the later trick-or-treat are the most important Halloween traditions in the US. However, in many countries around the world. All Saints’ Eve is most of the time but not always a celebration of the dead. Bellow are some of the most interesting Halloween traditions from all over the world.
In Austria, for example, people leave water, bread and lightened lamps during the Halloween night. Once upon a time, locals believed human souls returned during this night and should be welcomed properly.
A few hundred miles away, in Czechoslovakia people place chairs by the fireside. There is a chair for each family member and a chair for the spirits of the departed relatives.
On the other side of the Earth, in Hong Kong the Halloween celebration is known as Yue Lan (literally translated as the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts). For 24 hours locals burn food and money with the idea that these will reach the dead realm and bring some comfort. There are also many fires around the city to keep away angry spirits that may want revenge.
Close bye, in China, people celebrate Teng Chieh. During these celebrations locals place food and water in front of the photos of their departed relatives and lanterns are lit to guide spirits on the Halloween night. The buddhists create some boats out of paper that are burned at dawn – the purpose of this custom is to celebrate the dead and help the way of ‘pretas’ to heaven. IN the local culture, pretas are the spirits of those who drowned or were killed in accidents. On this occasion, monks recite sacred poems and offer fruits.
Germany celebrates All Saints Day on November 1, when they celebrated the saints and visit the graves of their loved ones. The local traditions says that people should hide their knives between October 30 and November 8 since during this time it is believed that some returning spirits go back home and try to hurt the living.
Dia de Los Muertos is the Mexican equivalent of Halloween. Taking place just a day after the American celebration, Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated through altars in the honor of the departed, processions, and scary-looking costumes.
Lastly, in Ireland and Scotland the Halloween is known as Samhain, and the tradition marks the end of the harvesting season and the beginning of winter. From October 31 and November 1, locals believe that pagans are involved in magic and witchcraft.
What are your plans for this Halloween?