Halloween – Celebrated All over the World
Halloween is a festive holiday that is normally celebrated on the 31st day of October. It is celebrated all over the world but in some countries it is known by a different name. Though most people celebrate Halloween for the same reasons, it is important to note that some countries mark it for different reasons as per their culture. Activities associated with this festival holiday are generally the same but different countries will have an added activity to make it different from the obvious. So how is Halloween celebrated in different countries of the world?
Below is how different countries mark Halloween, the activities involved and in some cases the names they use to call it. In England, Halloween is not celebrated on the 31st of October like in other countries but on the 5th of November. It is known as the Guy Fawkes Day and is held as a patriotic holiday. This is because during that date in 1600, catholic conspirators attempted to blow up the parliament buildings but were captured and killed before they could execute their plans.
In Mexico Halloween is held to symbolize the day of the dead. Mexicans celebrate this day by placing human skeletons and food in their homesteads. The food is meant for the spirits who are believed to wonder the earth at this time. They also visit the gravesite to honor the dead. Another country that celebrates Halloween is Austria. They mark the festival by leaving bread and a bowl of water on the tables of their houses. In addition they add lighted lamps to serve as light for the wondering spirits. Austrians believe that it is during this time that they are able to brim with strong cosmic energies.
Belgium does mark the festival of Halloween by lighting a candle for every dead relative in honor of remembering them. They also believe that should a black cat cross your path during his time, you were bond to have bad luck as black cats were associated with black magic. In Czechoslovakia, they acknowledge the holiday by placing a chair for every living and dead relative by the bonfire that they light during Halloween. The Chinese also recognize the Halloween festival but with a different name. They refer to the holiday as Teng Chieh. They use the holiday to honor the departed by placing food and water for them in piles. They also light lanterns in order for the spirits to see their way.
The Canadians started to celebrate the festival after the arrival of the Scottish and Irish immigrants in the 1800s. They too curve the pumpkins in memory of Jack o’ lantern, play trick or treat, dress up in costumes and decorate their houses with corn stalks. In Germany, all the traditions associated with Halloween take place but in addition to this, they do put away all the knives so that the wondering spirits are not in harm’s way. In Korea, the festival is known as Chusok. It is marked to give thanks to the ancestors for a good harvest. They visit tombs and give offerings in form of fruits to the dead.
In Hong Kong it is also known by a different name. They call it Yue Ian to mean the festival of the hungry ghosts. They believe that ghosts will roam the earth for 24hours in search of food and water and therefore they must satisfy them. They burn pictures of fruits and money images in order for the images to reach the ghosts. It is only in France that Halloween wasn’t celebrated until 1996. The French believed that it was an American festival and in return choose not to acknowledge it.