As Halloween’s dusty moon is about to settle among autumn’s skeleton trees and owls perch – ready to wake up their ghostly crew, kids below dressed as devils threaten their neighbors with tricks if they don’t cough up treats.
We thought we would take a look into the spooky superstitions & creepy traditions of Halloween from around the world. Just so we can confirm what we already kind of know. And that is ever since the bonfires at the festival of Samhain, we have been fascinated with ghosts, ghouls, and welcoming home the dead.
Latin America in no way tries to keep out the things that go bump in the night. In fact, they invite them in, party at the cemetery in memory of them, and honor them with streamers, flowers, and mementos. For Latin Americans, Dia de Los Muertos is a time when the spirits of their loved ones come home. And to celebrate their return, altars are constructed in their living rooms, parades of dancers in skeleton costumes take to the streets. And the dead and living party together.
Celebrated on all hallows eve (30 of October.) Devils Night in the US has come a long way from when Halloween first appeared back then -it was simple. You left food outside your home to stop spirits from entering and wearing a mask disguised you from the gaze of wandering ghosts.
These Days Devil’s Night, although still full of harmless hijinks and mild pranks, for example, chucking rotten fruit at people, egging houses, toilet papering monuments. More recently, reports of cars set ablaze and acts of serious vandalism have hit the headlines. For fear of the mayhem in Detroit, some 40.000 citizens band together and patrol the streets.
If you love uncovering gruesome mysteries and local legends, then the Barcelona scavengers hunt would be perfect. Every Halloween people from around the world gather at the gothic quarter to discover the bloody past of legendary landmarks such as Arc de Triomf and the Church of Santa Maria.
Celebrating Halloween only became an event in Germany in the 1990s. But that has not stopped a new unique tradition from being born. The south of Germany celebrates the ‘Week of the Whole Soul’ – a time when the dead return to visit their family, so, of course, to make sure they don’t get any sharp surprises, all knives are safely put away.
The UK’s Halloween traditions stem right back to the Celtic festival of Samhain. And have inspired new customs such as trick or treating, apple bobbing, and pumpkin carving. However, the UK also has a few darker rituals. One such tradition in England would see a young person looking into a mirror in a darkened room – the mirror is supposed to show the face of the person they will marry. However, if a face doesn’t appear, it means they will die before ever getting wed
In Asia, Halloween is about honoring ancestors and departed spirits. China’s Hungry Ghost Festival is evidence of that. Part of the celebration is to leave food and drinks for returning souls and lighting lanterns to guide the dead to the next life. In Cambodia, treats such as sticky rice beans wrapped in bananas are gifted to temples. In addition, to prayers and blessings for those who have passed.
Russia doesn’t celebrate Halloween. Instead, Radonitsa ‘Day of Rejoicing’ is a festival on the second Tuesday of Pascha (Easter) that remembers the dearly departed. Tradition states that on All Souls Day, people visit the graveyard, eat a meal, and drink beside the graves of their loved ones.
We hope our blog Spooky Superstitions & Creepy Traditions of Halloween from Around the World has inspired you to partake in local traditions and encourages you to seek out new exciting customs.
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