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Halloween-Like Traditions Around the World

10/29/2019
The fall season brings us cloudier days, cinnamon, pumpkin-spiced flavors, and the classic thrillers we spend hours watching and losing sleep over. At the end of October, many cultures around the world have their own way of celebrating the season. Here are a few examples of how cultures around the world spend their October 31st!

 
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Halloween is a celebration observed in several countries around the world. Many European cultures believe that Halloween is a time when magic is most potent and spirits can make contact with the physical world. The day was initially celebrated to ward off the creatures that may visit on the dark day, but the tradition is now more openly enjoyed by people of all ages and cultures. 

Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos) – Mexico

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Celebrated from November 1 to November 2, Mexico and parts of Latin America believe El Día de los Muertos, known in English as Day of the Dead, to be the days that honor the people who have passed away. October 31 marks the opening of the Gates of Heaven and many families can enjoy their reunion with their departed loved ones as souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to drink, feast, dance, and play music with their loved ones. Many families leave offerings for their other-worldly guests such as the deceased’s favorite food, favorite item, decorations, and more.

Samhain – Ireland and Scotland

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Ireland and Scotland celebrates Samhain – an ancient Gaelic festival that marks the end of harvesting season and the beginning of winter. Celebrated from October 31 to November 1, Samhain is the ancient version of modern-day Halloween. Samhain is celebrated with bonfires, games, and traditional food.

Day of Dracula – Romania

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In Romania, people celebrate the Day of Dracula which takes place at the Bran Castle in Transylvania. People from all around flock to enjoy this holiday in celebration of the Vlad the Impaler who was said to reside at the castle. The area is rich in history and tours and parties are organized at the Count Dracula’s castle throughout the season.

Kawasaki Halloween Parade – Japan

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Halloween traditions have spread to various areas of the world including Japan. From the past 21 years, Japan celebrates the Kawasaki Halloween Parade at the end of October. Over 4000 Halloween enthusiasts from all around the world gather just outside Tokyo dressed in creative costumes. The parade requires participants to follows guidelines and to apply and pay a fee for entry.

Halloween – United States

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Finally, Halloween in the United States is celebrated in various ways on October 31 from decorating houses to dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating from door-to-door. Much like the holiday’s Samhain roots, this holiday tradition first started in colonial times when Halloween was celebrated with large public parties to celebrate the upcoming harvest, tell ghost stories, and sing and dance. In the 20th century, this tradition is celebrated by people of all ages with various Halloween-themed activities such as parties, trick-or-treating, visiting haunted houses, and having a great time with friends.

If you are traveling more than 100 miles for Halloween, download the Assist America Mobile App. With just a tap of a button, you can be connected to our 24/7 Operations Team. Check the app for many features that may be helpful during your travels such as Pre-Trip Information, U.S. Pharmacy Locator, and Global Embassy Locator.