Written by Lethonkie Fernando
31 Oct, 2018 | 5:10 pm
Halloween which falls on the 31st of October each year was initially called “All Hallows Eve” which eventually broke down to Halloween.
Although most Americans spend this day either trick or treating, Halloween dressing up, spooking people out and various other activities, certain other countries take their traditions seriously.
1. Ireland is considered the birthplace of Halloween, where they celebrate it bonfires, games, and traditional foods like barmbrack, an Irish fruitcake that contains coins, buttons, and rings for fortunetelling.
2. In Mexico and in most Latin American countries Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated to honour those who have departed from this world to another. They believe that the gates of heaven open up at midnight on the 31st of October where these souls reunite with their families for 24 hours. holiday is celebrated with in-home altars full of fruit, peanuts, turkey, soda, hot chocolate, water, stacks of tortillas and a special holiday bread called pan de muerto (bread of the dead), which are left as offerings for weary ghosts.
3. Romania, housing the purported location of “The Impaler” in Transylvania is visited by a number of people from around the world where tours and parties at Count Dracula’s castle are provided for halloween.
4. In the biggest parade of Japan, for the past 21 years, nearly 4000 costumed Halloween enthusiasts gather in Kawasaki, just outside Tokyo where people join in the festivities.
5. People across Poland travel to cemeteries to visit the graves of their family members (Dzień Zaduszny is like the equivalent of All Souls’ Day for Catholics in the country). The holiday is celebrated with candles, flowers, and an offering of prayers for departed relatives.
6. The Awuru Odo Festival celebrated in Nigeria marks the return of dearly departed friends and family members back to the living. Lasting up to six months, the holiday is celebrated with feasts, music, and masks before the dead return to the spirit world. Although the Odo Festival is an important ritual, it happens once every two years, when it is believed the spirits will return to Earth.
7. Better known as Ognissanti in Italy, the festivities usually begin a couple of days before, when people begin leaving fresh flowers—generally chrysanthemums—on the graves of departed loved ones, as well as complete strangers, turning the country’s cemeteries into a beautiful display of colors. Italians also pay tribute to the departed by putting a red candle in the window at sunset and set a place at the table for those spirits they hope will pay a visit.
8. On the 15th day of the seventh lunar month, which is around mid-August to mid-September, the people of Hong Kong celebrate the Hungry Ghost Festival. In several parts of East Asia, people believe that spirits get restless around this time of year and begin to roam the world. The festival is a way to “feed” these spirits both the food and money they need for the afterlife. It’s part of a larger month-long celebration that also features burning paper and food offerings.
Traditions from all over the world, somehow show a similarity to one another although it is referred to by many terms. Regardless of the idea that stands behind the celebrations, Halloween is a day of fun and joy to all small and big alike.
Have an amazing Halloween!!
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