Summon the spirits, raise a pint to the spooky shadows of the night, and seek some fun while the world dresses up as creepy creatures… Halloween is around the corner! There’s nothing like a festive neighbourhood soiree to embrace the spirit of Halloween. But there are other places around the world where this event is celebrated in style. So, get your costumes ready to celebrate Halloween around the globe.
Obon Festival- Japan
Also known as Festival of the Dead, Obon has been a customary celebration for more than 500 years in Japan. This event is celebrated for over three days and is to honour the return of the spirits. The usual rituals include traditional Odori dance performances and floating candlelit lanterns on riversides or lakes. People even visit and clean the graves of their deceased one to welcome them back to the world, at the end of this festival. Food items are also brought to temple or altars.
The Hungry Ghost Festival- Hong Kong
Called the Yu Lan, The Hungry Ghost Festival is lavishly celebrated in Hong Kong. It focuses on worshipping the ancestors and happens during the 7th month of the lunar calendar. The natives believe that this is the time where restless spirits wander on earth, as per traditions. The most common rituals which take place are roadside fires, burning fake notes and offerings- food is left on the streets to feed the spirits of ancestors. Another important feature of the celebrations, is live performances of the traditional Chinese opera. As the ancestors also need a bit of entertainment too.
Samhain- Ireland & Scotland
The Samhain or The Feast of the Dead festival is celebrated at the end of autumn and the beginning of winter, which is from the 31st of October until the 1st of November. To mark the occasion, bonfires are lit up and feasts are most welcome. While many people think that Halloween originated in USA, it started from Irish traditions. Fancy dress and going from one door to another declaring ‘Trick or Treat’ or ‘Help the Halloween Party’ started in Ireland. Traditionally, people wore creepy costumes to scare evil spirits lurking at night. . .
Greenwich Village- New York
No city celebrates Halloween better than New York! Attracting over thousands of revellers, the Greenwich Village Parade generally last for three hours! And the best part is that everyone can participate… as long as they are in costumes. The spookier, the better! Started in 1973 by Ralph Lee, this festival is now witnessed by over two million spectators and over four million television watchers each year. This parade also welcomes worldwide bands, dancers, artists and puppets.
Dia de los Muertos- Mexico
Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is celebrated from the 31st of October until the 02nd of November each year, all over Mexico. It is a tribute to ancestors and is done to mark their annual return to their families during those days. Over three days, all the country witness folk dances, musical processions and street stalls. The traditional costumes for these days are La Muerto! The opening scene of the famous movie ‘Spectre’ was shot there!