Halloween, a contraction of All Hallows Eve, is a celebration observed in many countries on October 31st. The holiday is believed to be an amalgamation of All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and the ancient Celtic festival Samhain. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular celebration that includes activities like trick-or-treating, costume parties, and carving pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns. Halloween is still widely celebrated and is one of the world’s oldest holidays.
In Latin America, Halloween is sometimes called “El Día de Los Muertos,” or “Day of the Dead.” This name reflects the holiday’s focus on remembering deceased loved ones.
Countries Celebrating Halloween
Halloween is celebrated in many countries around the world, but it’s not the same overly commercialized holiday we’re used to seeing with the American holiday with trick-or-treaters and Halloween parties although one of the most well-known celebrations of Halloween takes place in the United States, where people often dress up in costumes, carve pumpkins, go trick-or-treating or attend local Halloween events.
Other countries that celebrate Halloween include Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and Sweden.
In Australia, families hang an orange balloon outside their homes as a sign that they participate in the Halloween Event.
In a few countries like Japan, Halloween is largely enjoyed by adults and is less focused on what Americans would consider Halloween traditions and the focus is more on the costumes and the cosplay elements of the holiday.
Other countries such as Rwanda and Russia have some but limited Halloween celebrations because many people meet with hostility.
Countries Where Halloween is Celebrated Alongside Traditional Holidays
Dia das Bruxas, or “Day of the Witches,” is a holiday celebrated in Brazil on October 31st. It is a very close translation of American Halloween.
Saci Day is a Brazilian holiday celebrated on October 31st. It was created to oppose Halloween’s American influence and focus on Brazil’s rich heritage. The day honors Saci Pererê, a character from Brazilian folklore who is said to be able to transform himself into any animal he wants. Activities associated with Saci Day include flying kites, playing games, and making mischief.
Other Latin American Countries
The Days of the Dead, also known as Día de Los Muertos, is a holiday celebrated in many Latin American countries. The holiday is dedicated to remembering deceased loved ones, and typically includes activities like visiting gravesites, making offerings to the dead, and decorating graves with flowers and candles.
The origins of the Days of the Dead can be traced back to ancient indigenous cultures in Latin America. These cultures believed that the spirits of the dead could help guide them through life. Over time, the Days of the Dead evolved into a secular celebration that is enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
Samhain was celebrated by the ancient Celts as the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It was a time when supernatural beings – such as ghosts, witches, and fairies – were thought to be especially active. People would often dress up in costumes and perform rituals to protect themselves from these spirits.
Today, Samhain, one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, is still celebrated by Celtic neopagans and Wiccans as a religious holiday. The festivities begin on the evening of October 31st and the holiday is held on November 1st. Others celebrate it as a cultural tradition with activities like bonfires, costume parties, and trick-or-treating.
Guy Fawkes Day is a celebration in the United Kingdom on November 5th. It commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot, a failed attempt to assassinate King James I of England.
Guy Fawkes Day is marked by fireworks, parades, and other festivities. The day is also known as Bonfire Night, and it is traditional to build large bonfires and burn the effigies of Guy Fawkes on them.
Undás, also known as Undas, the Day of the Dead, or All Souls’ Day, is a day in the Philippines dedicated to honoring the dead. It is celebrated on November 1st, the day after Halloween.
The day is marked by visiting gravesites, leaving flowers, food, and candles at graves, cleaning the gravesite, and attending special Masses. Families often gather to share food and memories of loved ones who have passed away.
Netherlands & Germany
On November 11th, the Netherlands and Germany celebrate St. Martin’s Day. It is a holiday that commemorates the life of Saint Martin of Tours, a Roman soldier who later became a bishop. He is best known for his act of compassion in which he divided his cloak with a beggar in cold weather.
The holiday is celebrated with special foods, parades, and festivals. In the Netherlands, St. Martin’s Day is also known as Sint Maarten, and it is celebrated by children who go door-to-door singing songs and asking for candy or treats.
Every year, the town of San Juan Sacatepéquez in Guatemala celebrates Festival de Barriletes Gigantes, a festival dedicated to giant kites. The kites are made out of brightly colored tissue paper and range in size from 3 to 15 meters wide.
The festival is a three day celebration that includes competitions, exhibitions, and parades. Kite makers from all over the country come to participate, and the best kites are often awarded prizes.
Halloween is a celebration that is observed in many countries around the world. It typically includes activities like trick-or-treating, dressing up in costumes, and playing games. While the origins of Halloween may be traced back to ancient Celtic traditions, the holiday has evolved into a secular celebration enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Today, Halloween is a fun and festive occasion that is enjoyed by people of all ages.
Feel free to leave a comment and let everyone know if you have any sort of special Halloween tradition.
How Many Countries Celebrate Halloween?
According to worldpopulationreview.com in 2021, 42 counties celebrate Halloween in one form or another.
Do Christians Celebrate Halloween?
Yes, many Christians celebrate the secular holiday of Halloween regardless of beliefs about how Halloween originated. All Saints Day and All Souls Day are both also official catholic holidays.