Craziest Halloween Traditions Around The World

By Anna Collins 1 year ago

1. Madagascar - Turning of the bones

Image source/ AncientoriginsMadagascar does not have Halloween as such. What they do have is Famidihana, which means the turning of the bones. They wrap up the remains in cloths and dance around the fire in a festival of singing and dancing with loved ones, as well as deceased loved ones.

2. Mexico - Dia de Los Muertos, The Day of The Dead

Image source/ saltandwindIn Latin America, Halloween is a massive celebratory festival where they believe that the spirits of those who have passed come back from the day. Therefore, they believe the lost family members come back to join them. This begins on the 31st of October and lasts until the second of November.

3. China - Teng Chieh

Image source/ thelistloveThere is a festival called Teng Chieh in China where relatives who have loved ones that have passed away set up photos of them. They then place water and food in front of them as an offering. In some parts of China this is called Yue Lan - Hungry Ghosts Festival - where they burn money or food in front of the photo in the hopes it reaches the spirits.

4. Germany - Hiding sharp objects

Image source/ totalsurvivalMany people in Germany on the evening of Halloween, 31st October, attend church to pay their respects to the Saints who are deceased. And, they have a tradition of hiding their knives and sharp objects in their house. This is so that of the spirits decide to visit on Halloween, they will not cut or harm themselves.

5. Austria - Pumpkin festival

Image source/ ollieandnellieexploreIn Austria, there is a tradition called Kürbisfest - which means pumpkin festival. It takes place on November 11th, and it is believed that if you leave bread, water and a lamp outside your door, then it may tempt the spirits back to call upon you and to come back to earth for the night and visit their loved ones.

6. Belgium - Light a candle

Image source/ familyholidayOn the night of Halloween, it is tradition for many Belgians to light a candle as a symbol in memory of their loved one who has passed away. Again, here is very much seen as a time to reconnect and remember deceased loved ones and celebrate memories of them.

7. Scotland - peeling apples

Image source/ 247wallstIn Scotland apple peeling is a huge Halloween tradition. The idea is that it is a form of fortune telling. You peel the apple so that the peel forms a continual spiral. Then, you toss it over your back without looking. The shape that it falls into will then represent a letter and that letter is considered to be the first initial of your future spouse's name.

8. England - trick or treating and fires

Image source/ BBCIn England during Halloween there are trick or treaters, and carving pumping is a huge tradition. Also, on the 5th of November there are huge bonfires, associated with Guy Fawke's gunpowder plot under the houses of parliament. And the fires used to be a way to help discover your fate by throwing objects into the fire.

9. Sweden - Holidays and parties

Image source/ littlebeardabroadHalloween in Sweden is not like the Westernised traditions. They have a weeklong holiday which starts 31st October called Alla Helgons Dag. There are shorter working days and children have a holiday and lots of parties and song singing happens during this time.

10. Japan - Floating lanterns

Image source/ ibreafoundationHalloween in Japan has grown in popularity due to Tokyo Disneyland and Studios. It is now promoted as a big event where everybody dresses up in Halloween outfits, including celebrities. On the more traditional side, people give gifts to the graves of loved ones and send lanterns floating into the rivers and skies.

11. USA - Jack-o-lanters and dress up

Image source/ knoxxvillenewsThe Halloween celebrations have now become famous all over the world due to the extent of the celebrations and how big the outfits, decorations and parties have become. The Jack-o-lantern is also an American tradition in which Americans carve beets and turnips into scary faces.

12. Cambodia - Pchum Ben

Image source/ travelbeginsat40In Cambodia their Halloween traditional is called PChum Ben.  During this festival, Buddhists carry treats of beans and sticky rice to their local temples. The monks give speeches to the community, and they listen to music as well as party in honour of the deceased.

13. Czech Republic - Speaking with the dead

Image source/ PinterestHalloween in the Czech Republic is intended to honour all those who are deceased and have departed the earth. Traditionally Czech Republican's may give presents to the graves of the loved ones they have lost. As well as this people sometimes place an empty chair in their houses around the fire so that those living can chat with those departed.

14. Italy - Feasts and bean cake

Image source/ ItalymagazineLarge feasts of great food shared with family and friends is a common occurrence in Italy. And so, this is similar for the celebration of Halloween. They prepare and cook bean shaped cakes which are then shared together. They also traditionally go to church to pay their respects.

15. Detroit, USA - Devil's Night

Image source/ tripsavvyIn Detroit there is a very particular Halloween tradition on Hallows Eve. It involves a lot of fun and harmless pranks on one another. And some not so harmless, it became a tradition to set fire to abandoned buildings in the area ad part of the Hallows Eve celebrations.

16. El Salvador - Street parties

Image source/ culturetripIn El Salvador the Halloween tradition is called La Siguanaba. During this time the famous story is told each year of a mother who abandons her family to lead a promiscuous lifestyle. People then dress in outfits from the story. There are huge celebrations and night long parties with street food and music and colourful painted carts with Halloween decor.

17. Cambodia - Bringing the deceased back to life

Image source/ PinterestIn Cambodia their Halloween like tradition is called Awuru Odo. It is a very serious and intense festival which can last months. People dress in a long parasol, which they have to walk in, up and down the streets until they become certain that they have brought their deceased loved one back to life. People do this for weeks on end without food or water supplies.

18. Netherlands - Sint Maarten

Image source/ xelbooIn the Netherlands they have a festival called Sint Maarten which is the event that can be the most likened to Halloween. This happens on 11th November. At this time, children go singing door to door holding lanterns and asking for candy as well as parades happening throughout the country.

19. Portugal - Mythical monsters

Image source/ PinterestA Portuguese Halloween tradition is revolved around mythical monsters. Pumpkins are often named Coco. The pumpkins are named after the mythical monster from Portuguese culture. As well as this, trick or treating is also a common practice in Portugal amongst children as it is now in many countries.

20. Cuba - Discussing memories

Image source/ PinterestIn Cuba, Halloween is very much about remembering the dead. First, in Cuban tradition, people will clean the graves of their loved ones. They then bring lights or candles, flowers, alcohol or cigars to the cemetery to offer gifts. Then, they sit around the candles and talk about memories with their past loved ones.

21. Cyprus - Labyrinths and parades

Image source/ newscyrpusmagazineIn Cyprus they have a crazy Halloween tradition where labyrinths are created in areas around the country for people to visit and explore. As well as this there are parades along the streets and people get involved in the common tradition of pumpkin carving.

22. Haiti - Feast of the death

Image source/ DailyMailIn Haiti there is a tradition called the Feast of the Death. It happens on the 1st and 2nd of November. It involves dressing up as voodoo spirits, as well as having ceremonies in the cemeteries. People even pour alcohol on tombs as a part of the voodoo beliefs.

23. Ukraine - Evil spirits

Image source/ amazingukraineIn Ukraine, Halloween is viewed negatively in traditional culture. In fact, the holiday is referred to as an alien. The view is that the spirits are roaming the streets and Ukrainian streets are filled with evil spirits and so instead of a time of fun horror, it is viewed seriously.

24. Chile - decorations and dress up

Image source/ notiamericaIn Chile the Halloween traditions that have been transferred all around the world such as decorations and dressing up have now been applied here and Halloween has steadily increased in popularity with more and more people celebrating the holiday than ever before.

25. Malta - Horror shows

Image source/ guidememaltaIn Malta, they have very similar traditions but also some unique Halloween events unique to the Maltese culture. There are dance parties which happen around the country and there are horror shows which happen at different points as part of the Halloween events.

26. Ireland - Barnbrack

Image source/ thelastfoodblogIt is thought that the origins of Halloween celebrations started here in Ireland. They have traditions such as knock-a-dolly where children knock on the doors in their local community and run away before there is any time for the neighbour to answer. They also eat Barnbrack on this day and the treat inside is considered to tell the fortune of your future.

27. Iceland - Carolling

Image source/ thegrapevineIn Iceland carolling is not just a Christmas tradition. It is done at Halloween. Carolling is one of the most traditional practices in an Icelandic Halloween and the Western influences of Halloween are not done here. It remains a small holiday than other countries.

28. Morocco - Boujiloud Festival

Image source/ ProkeleaIn Morocco, there is a festival called the Boujiloud festival which involves masquerades and dressing up in goatskin and feathers. There is a lot of singing dancing involved in this festival. And the whole idea of it is revolved around exploring the boundary between good and evil.

29. Croatia - Masquerades

Image source/ AdventurescreationsIn Croatia they have their own unique traditions. They celebrate Halloween with masquerade parties. Everybody turns up to these carnivals with a fun mask to celebrate the festival time. It is a lively and fun, colourful party which happens at different areas across the country.

30. Malta - Haunted houses

Image source/ gadgetsmaltaIn Maltese culture, Halloween over the years has become bigger and bigger as the influence of traditions from around the world influence it. People in Malta love to dress up in spooky outfits and haunted houses pop up around the country for people to enjoy some fun horror.

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