The annual fright-fest of Halloween has traditionally been perceived as a quintessentially American excuse for chills and thrills. And not every nation has got on board with painting the town dead, even though it’s been bubbling under decade by decade.
A raft of countries such as Australia, Canada, the UK, and some of India’s biggest cities have happily taken up America’s lead to go trick-or-treating. Even the Japanese are brewing up some Halloween magic in more recent years, instigated by the arrival of Disneyland in Tokyo. Whereas Spain is the only European country that’s gone the Mexican way.
Lifestyle journalist Patricia Lantz told Online resource Love to Know “… it’s also encountered initial resistance from people who regard it as either an overly commercialised holiday or an American holiday that infringes on local customs and traditional holidays”.
Here’s are just a few countries that continue to uphold their own brands of spookaliciousness…
Countries Where No Brooms are Required
- China – A few stores in heavily expat-populated communities might carve out some space for Halloween frills and furbelows. But largely, the Chinese uphold their own equivalent, the Feast of Hungry Ghosts, which fell on 12th August in 2022. Think of it like a purgatorial purge, where libations of food and toy bank notes are burnt to still wandering spirits.
- Italy – The Italian monster mash kicks off a day later, but lasts twice as long as Halloween, with All Saints’ Day on 1st November and All Souls’ Day on the 2nd. It’s a celebration of the lives of loved ones who have passed over to the other side, though it’s not entirely unusual to spot trademark pumpkin Concas de Mortu (heads of the dead).
- Mexico – The Mexican Day of the Dead celebration also takes place across the first two days of November. It’s famous for its kaleidoscopic colours and sights. Expect spine-chilling skeletons, frightful flowers, fang-tastic food, mischievous music and ofrendas, which are hand-made personalised altars for offering gifts to the dearly departed.
- Poland – Polish Forefathers’ Eve is celebrated on 2nd It’s something of a dinner party for the deceased, where extra places are set at the table for lost loved ones. Food and candles are taken to their graves afterwards.
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