The U.S. isn't the only country that sends children out in the streets to beg for candy, and weirdly this isn't even the strangest Halloween tradition you’ll find around the globe.
Ireland’s Halloween tradition is close to America’s. It’s common for kids to dress up in costumes to go trick-or-treating door-to-door. Parties and games are also common. Ireland has a traditional Halloween game called snap-apple, in which an apple is tied to a doorframe with a piece of string and people try to bite it. Fruitcake is a traditional Halloween treat.
Halloween is a magical night in Austria. Before you go to bed on Halloween night in this country, place bread and water on the table and light a lamp. This will welcome the dead souls back to Earth, which of course you want to do.
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Known as Yue Lan in Hong Kong, Halloween is the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. For 24 hours, spirits roam the Earth. This is why people in Hong Kong burn pictures of fruit or money, so these things may travel to the spirit world and offer the souls there comfort.
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Japan doesn't celebrate Halloween, but the country has a similar holiday known as the Obon Festival. Bright red lanterns are hung and placed on rivers to float. The lights help guide the ancestral spirits.
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Halloween is called Teng Chieh in China, and it’s a night for spirits. It’s common to place small dishes of food and water in front of the photographs of deceased family members on this night. You should also light a lantern for the spirits who travel on Halloween.
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Traditionally, little English boys and girls carved a design into beets for Halloween and carried these trinkets through the streets. Later, Halloween was changed to Guy Fawkes Night and moved to a different day (November 5). On this day, the English light bonfires and set off fireworks. It's also common to wear a Guy Fawkes mask.
It’s tradition to put all knives away on Halloween night in Germany. This way, the spirits who roam the night won’t use them to attack you.
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Halloween is known as Chuseok in Korea, and it’s a time to thank the ancestors for all they did. In order to pay respects to these people, it’s tradition to visit their graves and leave small tokens of rice and fruits. Chuseok isn't held in October, it’s in August.
The Days Of The Dead
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In Mexico, Spain, and other Latin American countries, Halloween is a three-day festival known as El Dia de los Muertos, the days of the dead. It’s been around since prehistoric times, and it’s always been used to honor the dead. However, it’s a happy holiday meant for celebration. Families erect an altar in their homes to honor the dead, bringing food and drink to it throughout the holiday. It’s also common to tend to the graves of relatives. Parades are common, and people often wear skeleton costumes during these events.
The Halloween celebration in Sweden, known as Alla Helgons Dag, lasts for a week. It’s a national holiday there, and schools let out early so children may celebrate. They go trick-or-treating, and families often tend to the graves of departed loved ones during the holiday.
You’d better hope you have a small family or a ton of chairs if you live in Czechoslovakia during Halloween. Here, it’s common to place a chair by the fireplace on Halloween night. You’ll need one for each living family member and one for each departed family member.
France didn't celebrate Halloween much at all until 1996, but it has gained popularity in recent years as a holiday for partying and wearing costumes. It’s popular to dress as something frightening in France, and trick-or-treating is rare. Because of Halloween’s American origins, it’s a controversial holiday.