Halloween is right around the corner. Soon, the streets will fill with costumed kids looking for treats from their neighbors and skimpily dressed females will pound the pavements at Boat Quay. This is how we trick-or-treat, but how do other countries around the world celebrate the spookiest night of the year? Let’s find out.
Ireland is where Halloween is believed to have started, and many folks still celebrate it the traditional way. Children spend the early evening trick-or-treating, followed by Halloween parties full of food and games.
The Belgians mark Halloween in a more low key manner. Their tradition on Halloween night is to light candles in memory of their dead relatives.
Halloween in China is known as Deng Jie, and is the time of year to honor the dead. During Deng Jieh, food and water are placed in front of pictures of deceased friends and family as a tribute. Lanterns and bonfires are also lit as a way to illuminate the paths of spirits as they travel Earth during Deng Jie.
While parts of Britain still celebrate Halloween in a more traditional style, the majority of the nation celebrates Guy Fawkes Day instead on the 5th of November. Guy Fawkes was a famous English traitor who planned to destroy the English Parliament. Fawkes was instead caught and executed. On this night, bonfires are lit and Guy Fawkes is burned in effigy throughout the country.
Halloween in Japan is known as the “Obon Festival,” which honors the spirits of one’s ancestors. For every night during the festival, candles are lit for spirits to see where their families are. On the final day of Obon, a farewell fire is lit that helps guide the spirits back to their grave.
From October 31st to November 6th, the Swedish celebrate “Alla Helgons Dag,” or All Saints Day. While there are few traditional things done during this time, it’s an official holiday that includes a shortened workday and a holiday for school children.
In Austria, you place bread and water next to a lamp on the table before you go to bed on Halloween. This is meant to welcome returning spirits to Earth.
The traditional thing to do on Halloween in Germany is put away your kitchen knives. This is so that the spirits cannot attack you with them in the night.
The people of Spain and Latin America celebrate El Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. This is a three day long festival honoring the memory and spirits of the dead. However, instead of it being a scary or somber holiday, the mood of the event is celebratory.
In the Czech Republic, it is a tradition to place an empty chair by the fireplace on Halloween night for every one of your relatives, both living and dead.
Preparing for your Halloween party? Here are some terms to help you on Taobao!
Halloween = 万圣节
Halloween Pumpkin = 万圣节 南瓜
Halloween Mask = 万圣节 面具
Vampire = 吸血鬼