Halloween traditions around the world – which countries celebrate Halloween?

Experts from Busuu have researched how different cultures around the world celebrate Halloween.

Have you ever wondered more about Halloween traditions around the world? Today’s post is for you!

The team at Busuu has researched what October 31st means for other countries and cultures to see if they’ve embraced the American tradition. All Saints’ Day takes priority for places like France, Spain and Poland, which falls on November 1st.

For this bank holiday, families visit the cemetery to pay their respects to those who have passed.

Whilst over in Mexico, something similar happens. Families get together on El Día de Muertos (the Day of the Dead) to light candles around pictures of late family members. They also cook their favourite foods to celebrate their lives.

Other countries, including Germany, Japan and China have fully embraced elements of Halloween from the American tradition.

A language expert at Busuu said: “It’s interesting to see how other cultures and countries adapt to one another’s traditions. Halloween is an American event but over the years, social media and popular culture have made it more of an event here in the UK and in countries, including Mexico, Japan and Italy. But not everywhere has embraced it.

“Other countries like Spain are protective of their traditions like All Saints’ Day and they tend to keep this alive rather than celebrating Halloween.”

Here’s a great roundup from around the world about how Halloween is celebrated:

Halloween in Mexico

This country is very big on Halloween. They embrace all of the traditions – the pumpkins, the spooky decorations, the dressing up. The only thing they are not big on is the trick or treating – this is because of kidnapping fears. Children living in safer neighbours may be knocking door to door, but it isn’t safe for children to be roaming the streets.

They do celebrate El Día de Muertos around that time. This day brings families together to remember their loved ones who have passed. They light candles and place decorations around the picture of their loved one and cook their favourite foods to celebrate their life.

Language experts at Busuu recommend watching the Disney movie Coco to learn more about this day, as the film does a great job of accurately representing the culture of this rime of year.

Halloween in Japan

Halloween is celebrated just as much as Christmas in Japan. People will get together in the centre of Tokyo at the famous Shibuya Crossing. The people of Japan use it as an excuse to dress up and throw parties. Parents also get together so that all of their kids can safely go trick or treating.

Halloween in Spain

In Spain, they tend not to celebrate Halloween. They see it as an American tradition. Young people in Spain may go to Halloween parties hosted by clubs and school kids in bigger cities may go trick or treating, but it isn’t an event that is celebrated by all.

Horror marathons are shown on TV around this time, but typically All Saints’ Day is a much bigger deal on November 1st. Like France, this day is also taken as a bank holiday and people will visit the cemetery to honour the dead.

Halloween in France

The French are like the Spanish and don’t tend to celebrate Halloween. Busuu experts highlight that while France is a secular country, it still has a big Christian influence and Halloween is overshadowed by Toussaint – All Saints’ Day – where people traditionally visit the cemetery.

However, children may participate in trick or treating. Not many households will have sweets ready to give out though.

Halloween in Poland

Halloween isn’t a big celebration in Poland. All Saints’ Day is however and families will go to the cemetery together. It does become very busy and packed.

Halloween in Germany

Like the UK, Germany seems to have adapted more to the idea of Halloween in recent years and it’s mainly youngsters who are likely to celebrate it. The Halloween vibes are definitely met with spooky decor, pumpkins and fancy dress. Kids also do all of the traditional Halloween activities, like trick or treating.

Halloween in Italy

Italy is another country that is slowly becoming more open to the idea of Halloween like the UK and Germany. If you’re looking to spend Halloween in Italy one of the years then you may want to head to one of its larger cities where there will be tons of fancy dress parties.

Halloween in Turkey

Halloween in Turkey is also a reason for youngsters to drink and throw parties and even then, the fancy dress is minimal.

They do, however, have a tradition similar to trick or treating, but it has nothing to do with Halloween. The holiday known as Eid al-Adha is when families come together and kids ask for treats from elders. Some children will go around their neighbourhoods doing this.

Halloween in China

Halloween has definitely grown in China because of popular culture and social media. It’s used a lot more in commercial settings by shops and bars, or to come to Halloween events. Other than that, children don’t really go trick or treating.

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