Halloween traditions from around the world

Halloween is just around the corner and experts have looked into how the rest of the world embraces this spooky season.
 
The language team at Busuu  have researched what October 31st means for other countries and cultures to see if they’ve embraced the American tradition.  
 
For places like France, Spain and Poland, All Saints’ Day takes priority, which falls on November 1st.
 
For this bank holiday families get together and visit the cemetery to pay respects to those who have passed.
 
Similarly in Mexico, families get together on El Día de Muertos (the Day of the Dead) to light candles around pictures of late family members and cook their favourite foods to celebrate their lives.
 
Other countries, including Germany, Japan and China have fully embraced elements of Halloween from the American tradition.
 
A language expert at Busuu said: “It’s interesting to see how other cultures and countries adapt to one anothers traditions.
 
“Halloween is an American event but over the years, social media and popular culture have made it more of an event here in the UK and in countries, including Mexico and Japan. But not everywhere has embraced it.
 
“Other countries like Spain are protective of their traditions like All Saints’ Day and they tend to keep this alive rather than celebrating Halloween.”
 
How Halloween is celebrated around the world:
 
France
The French don’t tend to celebrate Halloween. Busuu experts highlight that while France is a secular country, it still has a big Christian influence and Halloween is overshadowed by Toussaint – All Saints’ Day – where people traditionally visit the cemetery.
 
When it comes to fun for the children, some will be trick or treating, but not many households will have sweets ready to give out.
 
Germany
Like the UK, Germany seems to have adapted more to the idea of Halloween in recent years and it’s mainly youngsters who are likely to celebrate it. The Halloween vibes are definitely met with spooky decor, pumpkins and fancy dress. Kids also do all of the traditional Halloween activities, like trick or treating.
 
Spain
Protective over their traditions, Spain tends not to celebrate  Halloween, and sees it as an American tradition. Youngsters may go to Halloween parties hosted by clubs and school kids in bigger cities may go trick or treating, but the event isn’t widely celebrated by all.
 
Horror marathons are also shown on tv around this time, but typically All Saints’ Day is a much bigger deal on November 1st. Like France, this is also taken as a bank holiday and people will visit the cemetery to honour the dead.
 
Mexico
Mexico, on the other hand, is very big on Halloween and all of the traditions are embraced - the pumpkins, the spooky decorations, the dressing up.
 
The only thing that isn’t a big thing is trick or treating –this is because of kidnapping fears. Children living in safer neighbourhoods may be knocking door to door, but generally it’s not safe for children to be roaming the streets.
 
Also celebrated around that time is El Día de Muertos. On this day families get together to remember their loved ones who have passed. They light candles and place decorations around the picture of their loved one and cook their favourite foods to celebrate their life.
 
Language experts at Busuu recommend watching the Disney movie Coco to learn more about this day, as the film does a great job of accurately representing the culture.
 
Russia
In Russia, Halloween tends to be an excuse for young people to party. Some teenagers might go trick or treating, but households won’t really prepare for this. Instead, they’ll just give out whatever sweets that they have at home.
 
Turkey
Similar to Russia, Halloween in Turkey is also a reason for youngsters to drink and throw parties and even then, the fancy dress is minimal.
 
They do, however, have a tradition similar to trick or treating, but it has nothing to do with Halloween. The holiday known as Eid al-Adha is when families come together and kids ask for treats from elders. Some children will go around their neighbourhoods doing this.
 
Poland
Halloween isn’t a big celebration in Poland. All Saints’ Day is and families will go to the cemetery together, where it’s known to become very busy and packed. Experts actually say that it’s as busy as rush hour on the London tubes!
 
Japan
Halloween is as much of a thing as Christmas in Japan and it’s treated like more of an event – people will get together in the centre of Tokyo at the famous Shibuya Crossing. They use it as an excuse to dress up and throw parties. Parents also get together so that all of their kids can safely go trick or treating.
 
China
Halloween has definitely grown in China because of popular culture and social media. It’s used a lot more in commercial settings by shops and bars, or to come to Halloween events. Other than that, children don’t really go trick or treating.
 

 

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