Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween around the world

Halloween has many cultural roots tied into the traditions we see today, from Celtic-inspired celebrations to Americanized aesthetics, Halloween in modern times represents many different things to different sets of people. Whether it is a day to dress up, eat candy, or celebrate the loss of loved ones, where you are at in the world will depict how you celebrate Halloween, if you celebrate it all. And here for you today is a quick rundown of how Halloween is celebrated some places around the world:
United StatesMost widely celebrated in the United States, Halloween has become a time to celebrate some of the more sinister pleasures to be found. Many adults use it as a time to dress up as someone they are not to celebrate crossing the normal lines of civility usually found throughout the day. A number of celebrations can be found across the United States, and for the children, Halloween often represents a time to also get dressed up and participate in Trick-or-Treating where they can go door to door throughout neighborhoods and collect candy.
MexicoMexico is famous for their “Dia de los Muertos” celebrations, which is not too be mistaken for the American tradition of Halloween. Instead, this 3 day festival (October 31st – November 2nd) has a much bigger focus on celebrating the deceased, sharing their stories, and in doing so, celebrating life. Marked by family feasts, skull-shaped sweets, and traditional skeleton costumes and make-up, this celebration of the dead isn’t lacking any life in Mexico.
FranceWritten off as an American holiday for many years, France only recently adopted any sort of Halloween celebration. But thanks to the blurring lines of culture and society over the past 10-15 years, the French do take part in some of the festivities. Still a new concept, one can celebrate Halloween in France through costume parties and parades much like what you could find in United States.
IrelandNoted as the place of origins for Halloween, Ireland celebrates the holiday to this day with costumes, bonfires, and many traditional games and activities. Some of these activities include bobbing for apples, baking bread with little surprises tucked inside, and many of the hijinks we associate with Halloween. Head to Ireland for Halloween and you can also expect to find some of the biggest overall celebrations in the world.
GermanyHalloween in the secular sense has not entirely caught on in Germany, in part due to religious push back. Although some instances of trick-or-treating have been documented in Germany, the most notable superstitious tradition is the act of hiding all the knives in the house as to avoid any ghostly activity with them. Many Germans celebrate All Saints Day by attending service and paying homage to deceased relatives and saints.
ChinaWhile it’s hard to compare some of the Eastern traditions to the Western traditions of Halloween, China does have festivities that resemble the ideology of Halloween. Festivals like Teng Chieh and The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts have extra emphasis on wondering souls and celebrating the deceased. Halloween in the American sense is loosely celebrated, but mostly to attract foreign customers and ex-pats to various businesses.