October 1, 2015 The Traveling Gals 13Comment

Halloween Around the World

Ireland

Did you know Ireland is considered the place where Halloween originated? The Gaelic pagan festival called Samhain marked the end of summer and beginning of winter, which was considered the darker half of the year and meant death for many. This period is when the dead were thought to return so villagers would light fires to ward off spirits. Irish immigrants brought the idea of All Hallow’s Eve to the USA.

Bunratty Castle Halloween
By: Kathy

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Banks of Foyle Halloween Carnival in Derry

Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin

The Masquerade Mystery at Malahide Castle

Family Fun at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

England

Halloween in England has become rather commercialized as well. But they do have many haunted castles and buildings to visit as well as some interesting celebrations that focus more on the end of the harvest and honoring the dead.

Ottery St. Mary Tar Halloween
Ottery St. Mary

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Halloween in Cheshire

Guy Fawkes Day

Ottery St. Mary Tar Barrel Festival in Devon

Punkie Night in Hinton St. George

Hong Kong

Because Halloween is a Western tradition, it is not widely celebrated in the East except for in larger cities where expats live and there is more of a Western influence.  Hong Kong has a few Halloween celebrations that are similar to events you might see in the USA.

By: Ivan Fourie

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Haunted Halloween at Hong Kong Disneyland

Ocean Park Halloween Bash

Lan Kwai Fong Halloween Street Party

Mexico

One of the most famous days related to Halloween is Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, in Mexico. Although this day coincides with All Soul’s Day, its history traces back almost 3,000 years and its roots are from the Aztecs. Because this day celebrates the deceased, skulls are associated with the celebrations. Sugar skulls were introduced by Italian missionaries and became an affordable way for the Mexicans to decorate their churches and honor their dead.  While this celebration mostly takes place in the southern parts of Mexico, other Latin American countries also have their own celebrations. The USA also has a fascination with Day of the Dead with events in many cities throughout the country.  Day of the Dead is celebrated November 1st and 2nd.

By: Ute

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Day of the Dead Celebrations in Oaxaca

Festival of Life and Death at Xcaret Park

Other Events in Mexico

USA

The USA definitely popularized and commercialized Halloween celebrations as we know it today. Kids pick out a costume to wear and go trick or treating. Haunted houses open up all over the country and many adults also enjoy dressing up. Although it may be hard to believe now, Halloween has very religious roots from when the Irish immigrants introduced All Soul’s Day. It has now morphed into something else, but there are still events that honor the traditional aspects of the holiday.

Queen Mary Halloween

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Festival of the Dead in Salem

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando and Hollywood

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World in Orlando

Krew of Boo Parade in New Orleans

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor in Long Beach

Halloween in Las Vegas

How does your city celebrate Halloween? Let us know in the comments!

Sources

http://www.discoveringireland.com/newsletter-halloween-09/

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-29742774

http://gohongkong.about.com/od/hongkongfestivals/a/halloweeninhk.htm

http://www.destination360.com/north-america/mexico/day-of-the-dead-history

http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/support/dodhistory.html

13 thoughts on “Halloween Celebrations Around the World

  1. This is so informative! I honestly didn’t think about Halloween as being an international holiday! It’s very interesting to learn how the people in other countries celebrate. If I had to choose one of the places to visit, I think I would pick Disneyland in Hong Kong. Sounds like so much fun! 🙂

    1. Thank you for this comment! It was super interesting researching all the different celebrations! Some of them were very “American” and some were a little bizarre! 🙂

  2. Wow, how interesting! Halloween isn’t really commercially celebrated in Norway (except for all the themed univeristy parties), but from what I’ve heard it used to be a day of celebrating the spirits that were never given their own day (like Saints). 🙂

    1. That’s really interesting! It seems like many countries have very Americanized Halloween celebrations but some of them were very unique and traditional.

  3. Loved reading about how different countries celebrate Halloween, especially Ireland since that was my honeymoon destination! And the Bram Stoker festival in Dublin would definitely be fun 🙂

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