Here in the United States, most people are aware of the traditions that take place on the night of October 31st. Some of the Halloween traditions in the United States include carving pumpkins, watching scary movies, decorating, dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating. But what about other countries around the world – do they celebrate Halloween and how do they do it?
Fun Fact: Halloween originated in Ireland and their celebrations are very similar to those in the United States.
In Austria, Halloween involves a lighted lamp, water and bread. Most Austrians will leave these items on a table before heading to bed. These items are thought to welcome back the dead souls to earth.
Similar to American’s, residents of Belgium believe that it is bad luck to cross paths with a black cat on Halloween. Therefore, most Belgians stay in on Halloween and light candles to remember their relatives that have passed away.
In China, their Halloween traditions are called the Teng Chieh. On the night of Halloween, the Chinese people will place food and water in front of old photographs of family members who have passed away. Bonfires and lanterns are also lit to help welcome back the spirits of those relatives as they return to Earth.
People light their fireplace and place chairs next to it. Each chair is said to pay tribute to a family member that has passed away.
In England, the children create “punkies”, which are made out of beets. This tradition is similar to carving a pumpkin, but the English children use beets instead. The children will then use those punkies as their Halloween basket. However, the difference here is that the children will knock on doors and ask for money.
Up until 1996, Halloween was considered to be an American holiday in France. However, in recent years the French have become fonder of the holiday. It has not become widely accepted, but it is becoming a more popular celebration among the French people.
Residents simply put away their knives as a gesture of peace to the spirits returning to earth.
Halloween festivities are known as “Yue Lan” – which means Festival of Hungry Ghosts. Legend says that ghosts travel the world for 24 hours. As a gesture of peace to the ghosts, residents of Hong Kong burn pictures of fruit or money.