Spooktober – Day 30: Halloween Traditions

How people celebrate Halloween always fascinated me. All I had been exposed to as a kid was costumes, candy, and scary movies. Obviously, over the years I have been exposed to more Halloween traditions that people use to celebrate Halloween all around the world and now I’m sharing them with all of you. At best, you maybe you find something you want to adapt to your own Halloween traditions.

  • Austria – Some people leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before ending their Halloween night. It’s become tradition born out of an old belief that it would welcome dead souls back to earth for a night.
  • Ireland – Irish people mostly celebrate Halloween like people in the U.S., but they also have a card game where the cards are laid face down on a table with candy or coins underneath them. The person ends up choosing a card, and whatever prize is found below it, they get to keep it. They also have a cake called Barnbrack that has a treat baked inside of it and, depending on which treat is inside, will foretell the future of whoever receives it.
  • Belgium: Belgian may sometimes light a candle in memory of a dead relative.
  • The Philippines – Children go door to door similar often dressed in costumes, to kids in the U.S., but instead of asking for treats they sing and ask for prayers for those stuck in purgatory.
  • Germany – In Germany, people put away their knives on Halloween night. The reason for this is because they do not want to risk harm to or from the returning spirits.
  • Mexico (El Dia de los Muertos) They celebrate by honoring the dead who are believed to return to their homes on Halloween. Many families construct an altar to the dead in their homes to honor deceased relatives and decorate it with candy, flowers, photographs, deceased’s favorite foods and drinks, and a awash basin and towel are left out so that the spirit can wash before indulging in the feast.
  • Hong Kong (Yue Lan) – It is believed that spirits roam the world for twenty-four hours. Some people burn pictures of fruit or money at this time, believing these images would reach the spirit world and bring comfort to the ghosts. Fires are lit and food and gifts are offered to placate potentially angry ghosts who may be looking for revenge.
  • Korea (Chusok) – Families thank their ancestors for the fruits of their labor. The family pays respect to these ancestors by visiting their tombs and making offerings of rice and fruits. One major difference between the U.S. and Korea is their Halloween, Chusok takes place in the month of August rather than October.

Do you have any special traditions that you do to celebrate Halloween? If so, share in the comments.


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