Halloween is one of the oldest holidays, and today it’s celebrated in different ways all over the world! Here are a few traditions from different countries that show another side of Halloween!
Dia de los Muertos
Mexico, Spain, and Latin America celebrate All Soul’s Day on November 2nd. They commemorate the holiday with a three-day celebration that starts on the evening of October 31st. The weekend honors the dead who are believed to return on Halloween. Families put together altars in their homes in memory of their deceased relatives, decorating them with candy, flowers, photographs, fresh water, and some of the deceased’s favorite foods. Family members also decorate the gravesites of their deceased and gather around for a picnic on November 2nd.
Guy Fawkes Day
On November 5, 1606, Guy Fawkes, a member of a Catholic group plotting to remove King James from power, was executed after attempting to destroy England’s parliament building. Following his execution, people lit bonfires to burn effigies and symbolic “bones” of the Catholic pope. Centuries later, the effigies of the pope were replaced with those of Guy Fawkes himself. Today, bonfires are lit and fireworks are set off throughout England, commemorating the execution of the notorious English traitor.
Where it All Began
Halloween itself originated in Ireland, and it is one of the few counties that celebrate the holiday similar to the United States. All over the country, children dress up in costumes and ask for candy much like the “trick-or-treating” tradition in America. A tradition Halloween food is a type of fruitcake called barnbrack. Treats are hidden inside the cake that are believed to tell the eater’s future: if a ring is found, they will soon be married, and a piece of straw means good fortune.