Halloween, also known as “All Hallows’ Eve,” is celebrated on October 31st, the day before All Hallows’ or All Saints Day. All Hallows’ is a Christian festival celebrated in honor of the saints. The celebration stems from the belief that there is a powerful bond between those in heaven and the living. Christians held the belief that during Halloween, “the veil between the material world and the afterlife is at its most transparent.”
Halloween is one of the oldest holidays. Although it stems from religious beliefs, it is still celebrated today by many people of different religious backgrounds.
Halloween is celebrated differently in several countries around the world. Many countries have different names for the celebration and do not celebrate on October 31st.
In the United States, Halloween is celebrated on October 31st and is popular among children and adults. Telling horror stories and horror movies are popular entertainment, as well as carving pumpkins to make jack-o-lanterns. Children dressed in costumes go trick-or-treating, which involves going door to door, knocking and calling out “trick or treat,” and receiving candy in return. Canada and Ireland both have similar traditions.
Mexico and other Latin American countries celebrate Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. The celebration lasts three days, from October 31st to November 2nd, and is designed to honor the dead. Many families construct an altar in their homes to honor their late family members and make a feast with their favorite dishes for their spirits to enjoy. Food and candy are often made in the shape of skulls and skeletons for the celebration.
In some European countries and many others worldwide, Halloween has increased in popularity within the last 30 years. Countries like Greece and Poland have seen more young people engaging in pumpkin carving and attending costume parties.
Below are lists of countries worldwide celebrating Halloween or their own similar tradition honoring those who have passed.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom (and Saint Helena territory)
- Dominican Republic
- United States