Halloween is celebrated on the 31st of October every year. Halloween also called All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in several countries around the world including America, Canada, and Ireland to mark the eve of All Saint’s Day (1 November).
During this time people gather together for parties featuring games like bobbing for apples and dressing up in scary costumes.
Children go door-to-door trick or treating while adults attend costume parties. Trick-or-treaters disguise themselves in costumes and carry jack o’lanterns with the intention to make their way from house to house asking for treats like candy or money.
The tradition originates from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
How Old Is The Halloween Tradition?
Halloween has been a popular event in the United States since the early 20th century; it is now thought to be one of Americans’ favourite holiday traditions after Christmas and the Fourth of July. The National Retail Federation reported that 53.3% (148 million people) planned to celebrate Halloween last year with spending expected to reach $8 billion annually.
It was also estimated that over 170 million Americans intended to celebrate by wearing costumes, throwing pumpkin-themed parties or going on haunted walks or tours around their neighbourhood.
Halloween In Canada and Ireland
In Canada, Halloween has become a very popular occasion each October 31st for kids and adults alike not only due to its proximity to the start of autumn but also because it is deeply rooted in Celtic traditions.
In Ireland, Halloween is viewed as a very important occasion by ‘Trick or Treaters’ who are said to have started their trick or treating activities since the 19th century. They dress up in scary costumes and go door-to-door around their neighbourhood asking for treats like candy or money.
As an attempt to lure possible evil spirits away from home owners during this time of year, some homeowners put flour outside their homes on Halloween night which makes it look like there had been a vandal attack at first sight. There has been reports of serious injuries involving fireworks around Halloween which lures people to be careless about throwing them carelessly out of their windows.
Halloween is also associated with Christians decorating churches for the All-Saints Day. During this day, children are encouraged to attend Mass so they can hear about how people who have gone astray can still be good and come back home.
Halloween In Mexico
The celebration of Halloween in Mexico varies from town to town and it has adapted itself to Mexican traditions such as Day of the Dead which runs from October 1–2 every year. In Puebla state, thousands take part in a pre-Hispanic ritual where locals sacrifice animals such as chickens and sheep during an event called ‘Noche de las Animas’.
“People go into graveyards and then while wearing masks that resemble skulls, they parade through the streets carrying candles,” said David Nunez Morfin, an anthropologist at the College of the Northern Border in Tijuana.
“They then pick up these animals that have been sacrificed and take them to homes. Animal blood is smeared across altars dedicated to dead ancestors.” On Halloween night itself (31 October), Mexicans celebrate by using hollowed-out pumpkins called ‘cucuruchos’ which are filled with treats like candy or toys before being lit on fire.
There have also been reports of people who wear costumes during this time representing famous horror movie characters like Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers, and Leather Face.
Halloween In Brazil
In Brazil, Halloween is celebrated in a very much unique way in other parts of the world. First off, it’s not widely known throughout Brazil due to their lack of marketing and commercialization in this community.
In fact, Brazilians have recently been included in celebrating this great event after gaining awareness from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter which resulted in the creation of several group pages dedicated to this topic. These page admins even created a wikiHow article on how people can celebrate Halloween by using similar traditions that are held in the United States. Brazilians usually celebrate with a ‘Bloco’ which is a party held outdoors where people dress up as ghosts and witches whilst dancing to the céilí dance.
In Brazil, Halloween is more of an occasion that’s celebrated by young adults at college campuses or just those who have been influenced by watching movies from the west such as those made by Tim Burton.
Halloween in Poland and South Africa
In Poland, Halloween is not celebrated on a grand scale. There have been reports of some people who dress up as ghosts and walk around the streets just to scare others but their costumes are nowhere near compared to those made in other countries.
In fact, most costumes found in this part of Europe do not resemble anything related to Halloween at all. Most often than not, they’re worn more often by actors appearing in plays or operas that are meant for entertainment purposes only.
South Africa is one of the countries that have recently adopted Halloween which has led to some people dressing up as zombies or vampires in order to celebrate. Halloween is usually celebrated by buying candy, pumpkin carving, and trick-or-treating on 31 October (my family has a candy hunt and dress-to-scare ha-ha).
Halloween in Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago have also started celebrating this event which sees children going door to door dressed up as witches, devils, skeletons, and other characters found mostly at haunted houses just like those seen at Universal Studios theme parks across North America.
Trinidadians were influenced by India where divas (small clay oil lamps) are lit outside homes for religious purposes during Deepavali (festival) also known as the festival of lights. “Diwali, just like Halloween, is a time when people get together with family and friends to eat candy or ‘mithai’. They also smeared each other’s faces with mehndi (hence why kids are painted with mehndi on Halloween) and lit up fireworks,” said Kavita Nandoo who lives in Port of Spain.
Trinidadians have attempted to combine their own history into these celebrations too by having an event called ‘Mas’ where costumed revellers roam the streets partying it up while playing music from old vinyl records along the way.
The United States is probably one of the countries that celebrate this event more than any other part throughout the world. That’s because Halloween is now available all year round in the country thanks to their season’s greetings, costumes, and decorations. It has even reached a point where some have expressed their love for this holiday by proposing to their boyfriend or girlfriend by furnishing them with engagement rings inside decorated pumpkin shells.
The United States has actually transformed this event into a business opportunity where they can sell more candy during this time which sees people dressing up as witches, monsters, ghosts, zombies, princesses, and even superheroes just to name but a few.
Halloween is celebrated by countries around the world in different ways too whether it be through playing music involving different instruments only played during this time of year or wearing unique costumes that are not seen anywhere else other than at haunted houses. With every country having its own traditions and beliefs, there is no doubt that this event has been adapted to suit each country’s culture.