Halloween around the world

31/10/2018


Halloween has taken place on the 31st October annually, for centuries. Although the date is the same, the way in which the day is celebrated varies from country to country. Here are just some the many ways, different countries celebrate Halloween.


United Kingdom

The origins of Halloween date back to 1745 when it was more commonly known as “All Hallows Eve” in Scotland. Centuries ago, Halloween had more of a connection with Christianity in the UK, rather than the modern practice, where it has become more secular. The UK has adopted some the commercial aspects of Halloween from the United States, Trick or Treating seems to vary depending on which street you live on. In the UK, University students celebrate by dressing up and going to night clubs or attending Halloween related events at their Student Union. Due to social media, pumpkin carving and showing your creations online has also become more popular in the UK.


United States

Even though the roots of Halloween can be found in the United Kingdom, it is the United States that invented the commercialisation of Halloween. The tradition of Halloween in America consists of children knocking on houses in their neighbourhood and asking “trick or treat?” in which the homeowner will give the children sweets to symbolises “treat”. If the homeowner fails to produce any sweets, this is seen as a forfeit and consent to be “tricked” to which children can then pull a harmless prank on the homeowners. Pranks often include returning back to the homeowner’s property later on the in the night and throwing eggs or toilet tissue at their door. However, this has faded over the years due to an increase in reports that people’s homes had been completely vandalised. Pumpkin carving is also a tradition as well as watching horror films in the cinema or at home.


Japan

In the last ten years, Japan has shown an increase interest in Halloween (called Harou~īn). The American tradition of Trick or Treating is not practiced in Japan, as the idea of knocking on a stranger’s door and asking for sweets is frowned upon and seen as an inconvenience to homeowners. The one American tradition of Halloween that has been welcomed in Japan are the costumes. As a result of this, people will dress up in scary outfits such as devils, witches or they might include cosplay and dress up as a scary character from a beloved anime or game.


Mexico

In Mexico, Halloween is known as “Día de Muertos” which translates to “Day of the Dead”. In this country, Halloween is seen as a remembrance of ancestors who have passed and a time to appreciate all those still present. The structure of the celebrations vary from town to town in Mexico, but the most popular tradition consists of visiting the cemetery of the deceased relatives and cleaning their grave. Another common tradition is to decorate a table in the home, place a picture of the deceased loved one in the middle and fill the table with fruits, sweets and other treats to give thanks. Halloween parades also take place in city centres. Halloween is one of the most important celebration days in the Mexican calendar.


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