Halloween Traditions Around the Globe?

Hi there, what’s up?

How has everyone’s day been? Pretty good, yeah? Well I hope you guys have had a splendid start to the week, because then, hopefully, the rest of your week will also be filled with awesomeness.

Alright, so as you guys know, last Wednesday was that time of the year when kids (and maybe grown adults) would wander from house to house in weird costumes, asking for sweets. Sound familiar? Yep, it was Halloween, a.k.a. Hallows’ Eve, a.k.a. the-day-when-people-can-dress-up-in-weird-costumes-and-not-be-called-a-freak. I personally went all out and decided to dress up as a pocong. A pocong, if you guys haven’t heard of (which you probably won’t have unless you’re Indonesian) is an Indonesian ghost. According to Wikipedia, a pocong is “an Indonesian/Malaysian ghost that is said to be the soul of a dead person trapped in their suit.” The suit talked about here is a white fabric (in Indonesian: “kain kafan”) which is used by Muslims to cover the body of a dead person. So this is how I turned out:

In the end, I… uh, got tired of jumping and decided to just sit down. Yeah, it’s sort of depressing. I’m well aware of that.

It was fun dressing up as a pocong, because nobody expected anyone to dress up as one! When I met the Indonesian people, some of them actually screamed (you should have seen their faces!) and when I met the non-Indo people, some of them were just looking at me like I’m some strange creature and some others were just gaping. All in all, it was pretty fun. The only downside to it was that in the pocong costume, I had to jump. The next day, I woke up feeling really sore!

Here are some pictures from the Halloween Party on campus (also referred to as the “Zombie Apocalypse.”)


So, to end the post, here are the different ways people celebrate Halloween:

IRELAND (which is where it all started): Following the tradition from hundreds of years ago, people would light bonfires and children would go “trick-or-treating.” There would also be Halloween parties…fun!

FRANCE: France hadn’t really been celebrating Halloween until the past 20 to 30 years, and Halloween in France is known as more of an “American holiday” because… well, that’s how the French people learned about Halloween: they would hear about it from tourists. Finally, in 1982, a bar/restaurant in Paris called American Dream started celebrating Halloween, and since nobody really knew about Halloween, they had to explain what Halloween was to each customer!

GERMANY: The Germans would put their knives away in fear of harming (or maybe being harmed) the returning spirits! Spooky.

AUSTRIA: Austrians consider Halloween a magical night; they would leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before they went to sleep in hope of welcoming the dead souls back on Earth.

CHINA: Bet you didn’t expect Asians to celebrate Halloween, eh? Halloween is known as “Teng Chieh” in China. On Halloween, the Chinese would place food and water in front of photographs of those who have passed away in order to pay respect. Also, they would light bonfires and lanterns because they believe it would light the paths of the departed souls as they walk the earth during that night.

KOREA: The Koreans don’t specifically celebrate Halloween, but they have a similar festival known as “Chusok” in August. During this festival, the Koreans would thank their ancestors for all the blessings they have received, and they would do this by visiting their tombs and making offerings in the form of rice and fruits.

LATIN AMERICA: Halloween–also known as “El Dia de los Muertos”–is celebrated from the evening of October 31st until November 2nd. Like Halloween, this tradition has also been in place for quite a long time, and it was originally a happy occasion. People would remember friends and family who have passed away because they believe that during Halloween, the souls of those who have passed away would roam the earth and return to their homes.

So those are several ways people celebrate Halloween around the globe. How do you celebrate Halloween?

Indira

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