Whether you dress up and ask strangers for candy, are the one passing it out, or even just watch a scary movie around Halloween time, you take part in a very traditional American Halloween. We’re not the only ones to celebrate Halloween, though; the holiday is prevalent throughout the world.
Countries that celebrate Halloween much the same as the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom are the most prominent. Ireland is one of the original countries to celebrate an early form of Halloween, where children spent the night “guising,” collecting food like fruit, nuts, and chocolate from neighbors.
These Celtic countries (Ireland, as well as Scotland & Wales) celebrated Samhain, a harvest festival that merged with All Saints’ Day to form an early version of the holiday we know as Halloween, which has risen to become one of the biggest commercial holidays in North America.
Aside from North America and the Celtic countries, Italians join in on the fun. During the first of November, they celebrate Ognissanti, a form of All Saints’ Day where gifts may be given to children, dead ancestors are honored, and pumpkins may be lit.
Guatemala also celebrates in early November; their Barriletes Gigantes (Giant Kites) festival honors the dead with hand-painted kites released above the graves of their loved ones who have passed away. These celebrations are similar to Mexico’s, where children trick-or-treat on Halloween, and then celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) a day or two later. Japan is another country with its own celebrations. While Japan has just recently been celebrating it, they fully embrace costume-wearing and partying.
While Halloween is celebrated differently in various countries, many observe unique traditions that pay homage to family and the deceased, all while enjoying plenty of treats.
Hello, my name is Luke Fann. I love to read and write myself into a fantastical realm, but I love all genres. Of course, such a task requires assistance from my parents and older brother. I've feasted on alligators and tamed beasts like alpacas (my favorite animal), but none of that compares to my greatest weapon: a pencil. I am an editor here for the City Voice, and this is my second year writing for it.