40 Ways Halloween is Celebrated Around the World  

Halloween is one of the world’s most popular holidays, celebrated in many countries across the globe. While some common Halloween traditions like costumes, trick-or-treating, and carving jack-o-lanterns are well known, the varied ways Halloween is observed worldwide are fascinating. Let’s explore some unique and thrilling Halloween celebrations around the world.

Here is list of 40 most unique Halloween celebrations:

Discover 40 Halloween celebrations around the world, featuring ghost tours, costume parades, and spooky haunted house events like no other.

1) United States

Modern Halloween celebrations in the U.S. stem from Irish and Scottish immigrants bringing their traditions in the 19th century. Carving jack-o-lanterns, trick or treating in costumes, haunted houses, and watching horror movies are popular activities. Halloween is a major commercial holiday, with people spending billions on costumes, candy, and decorations.

2) Mexico

Mexico’s Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a multi-day holiday that coincides with Halloween. Families honor deceased loved ones by visiting gravesites, building altars decorated with marigolds and photos, and leaving offerings like sugar skulls. Parades and festivals feature masks, face painting, and skeleton costumes. People eat skull-shaped sweets and pan de muerto, a sweet egg bread.

3) Ireland

Ireland is where Halloween traces back to the festival Samhain. The Celts believed ghosts returned on this day and lit bonfires to ward them off. Today, the Irish celebrate with bonfires, fireworks, costume parades, and traditional foods like barmbrack bread. 

4) England

Modern Halloween parties in England feature bobbing for apples, telling scary stories, and watching horror films. Children carve faces into turnips rather than pumpkins. One old English tradition called souling had the poor going door-to-door asking for soul cakes in exchange for prayers. Trick-or-treating evolved from this practice.

5) Scotland & Wales

Scotland’s Halloween is full of ancient superstitions like throwing corn kernels into the fire, hiding silverware, or putting stones marked with loved ones’ names in the fire to represent guidance to the spirit world. Young people in Wales once celebrated by dressing up and carrying lanterns made of scooped-out turnips. Today, pumpkin carving is more common.

6) Germany

Halloween celebrations in Germany are catching up to the grand scale of Germany’s traditional fall carnivals. Besides pumpkins, ghosts, and witches, German Halloween decorations often feature spiders and bats. Costume parties, trick-or-treating, and Halloween-themed baked goods are popular. Germany also has St. Martin’s Day lantern processions in November.

7) France

While Halloween is a more recent phenomenon in France, the French have taken the holiday with Gallic flair. Decorations feature black cats, bats, spiders, and skeletons with a vintage European style. Grown-up costume parties are common. For the kids, candy and homemade Halloween goodies are handed out instead of going door-to-door.

8) Italy

Halloween, or La Festa di Halloween, is becoming increasingly popular in Italy. Costume parties and trick-or-treating are most common in larger cities. Italy’s All Saints Day features locals bringing flowers to graves of loved ones. Sicily has a tradition where people leave out food offerings for the souls of the dead.

9) Sweden

Halloween in Sweden is known as Alla Helgons Dag. Typical celebrations include:

  • Dressing up in costumes.
  • Carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns.
  • Visiting graveyards to place candles on the graves of loved ones.

Candy and treats are handed out to costumed children, and children may sing songs as they “trick-or-treat.”

10) Czech Republic

The Czech Republic’s Halloween traditions draw from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian All Saints Day. Modern Czech Halloween includes costumes, trick-or-treating, and decorating with carved pumpkins. On November 2nd, Czechs observe All Souls Day by visiting graves and leaving candles to commemorate the dead.

11) Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the Halloween celebrations, known as Yue Lan, combine Western-style Halloween festivities with Chinese ghost beliefs. It’s customary to light incense and burn paper offerings for the spirits. Instead of pumpkins, lanterns shaped like animals or famous Chinese characters are common. People also wear costumes to mimic ghosts or popular characters.

12) Philippines

The Philippines’ Halloween includes both Western traditions as well as local folklore. Filipinos have taken to costumes and trick-or-treating with gusto. More traditional celebrations might feature candlelit processions in cemeteries to commemorate deceased loved ones. Families spend the night in tombs or leave food offerings for visiting spirits.

13) Romania

Halloween celebrations in Romania stem from the legend of Dracula, often believed to be based on 15th-century Romanian prince Vlad Tepes. Besides costumes and trick-or-treating, Halloween nights feature spooky legends, games, and fortune-telling. Locals believe waking the dead on Halloween could produce vampires once they took precautions against this.

14) South Africa

Modern Halloween celebrations in South Africa include costume parties and trick-or-treating in major cities. Some areas have carnivals or haunted houses. More traditional celebrations incorporate ancestors and rituals. Common spiritual practices include burning incense to welcome spirits, sacrificial offerings or acts to ward off evil.

15) Austria 

Austrians enthusiastically celebrate Halloween with decorative pumpkin displays, costume parties, trick-or-treating, and spooky pranks. Decorations feature jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, ghosts, spiders, and bats with a European flair. Older rural traditions of welcoming spirits also persist.

16) Belgium 

 Halloween has grown in popularity in Belgium in recent decades. Belgians celebrate with costumed trick-or-treating, parties, haunted attractions, horror movie marathons, and more. Houses and shops are decorated with pumpkins, spiders, and witch decor.

17) China 

In major Chinese cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing, with more Western influences, Halloween parties, haunted houses, trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns, and costumes are popular. However, China also has its own long-standing Ghost Festival in the summer.

18) Denmark 

 Halloween is a newer holiday in Denmark but has caught on quickly in the last decade. Danes celebrate with American-style costumes, parties, trick-or-treating, ghost-hunting events, horror movie nights, and spooky decorations.

19) Greece 

 Greek Halloween focuses on honoring dead ancestors and welcoming friendly spirits. Families visit graves, light candles, and leave offerings of food and flowers. Kids dress up and go trick-or-treating for treats. Jack-o-lanterns are becoming more common.

20) Netherlands 

The Dutch celebrate enthusiastically with costumed trick-or-treating parties, pranks, haunted attractions, pumpkin displays, and horror movie marathons. Amusement parks and shops are decorated elaborately.

21) Portugal 

 Big cities like Lisbon and Porto have adopted Halloween parties, parades, tricks, and treats. But old rural traditions persist, like lighting candles and lanterns to guide the spirits of loved ones.

22) Singapore 

 Halloween has emerged as a popular holiday in Singapore in the past decade, celebrated with parties, costume events, themed attractions and performances, and trick-or-treating in malls. The haunted houses are especially impressive.

23) Spain 

Halloween in Spain is celebrated with costume parties, themed bars, ghost tours, trick-or-treating, and pumpkin carving, more so in big cities. Honoring dead loved ones and welcoming spirits also continues.

24) Switzerland 

Halloween has grown across Switzerland, with parties, parades, tricks, treats, and elaborate decorations like jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, spiders, and witches commonplace, especially in cities like Zurich and Geneva. Haunted houses and horror films are also popular.

25) Argentina 

Halloween is growing in popularity in Argentina, especially in Buenos Aires, where costume parties, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving and decorations, haunted houses, and ghost tours have become popular. Argentines incorporate unique twists like tango dance performances.

26) Brazil 

Brazil’s major cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have adopted Halloween party costumes, jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, and themed decorations. Older traditions like honoring deceased loved ones and souls on Dia de Finados are still widely observed.

27) India 

Halloween is not a big holiday in India, but some people in cities like to celebrate it. They have costume parties where people dress up as scary things or famous characters. Sometimes, kids in certain neighborhoods go door-to-door asking for candy. Some homes and shops decorate with pumpkins and spooky things. There are also special events, scary houses, and themed food and drinks. 

28) Indonesia 

People in cities like Jakarta have started celebrating Halloween with costumes, makeup, parties, horror movies, haunted houses, and trick-or-treating. Pumpkin carving is also becoming popular.

29) Israel 

 Israelis celebrate Halloween with gusto in cities like Tel Aviv with costume parades, parties, haunted houses, horror films, and jam-packed trick-or-treating. Carved pumpkins and skeletons adorn homes.

30) Japan 

Halloween celebrations in Japan focuses on elaborate cosplay costumes, often of anime/manga characters. Haunted houses, parades, parties, and pranks like toilet paper tossing are also common. Candies are given to costumed children.

31) Kenya 

 In Nairobi, Halloween is celebrated by the elite communities with Western-style parties and trick-or-treating. Traditional activities include telling ghost stories or holding bonfires near haunted acacia forests.

32) Russia  

Halloween has emerged in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, where costumed partying, trick-or-treating, carved pumpkins, and haunted houses have become popular, especially among youth. Some jack-o-lanterns feature political caricatures.

33)Saudi Arabia 

People in Saudi Arabia privately celebrate Halloween at Western compounds or private parties with costumes, decorations, and candy, which is slowly growing. However, the widespread observance is discouraged.

34) Canada

Halloween celebrations in Canada is very similar to the U.S. Most Canadians celebrate by dressing up in costumes and going door-to-door for trick-or-treating. Costume parties and church events like lighting candles for deceased loved ones are common. 

35) Australia

Halloween came to Australia through American television programs and films. Its observance is growing among young adults and children. Costume parties, trick-or-treating, haunted attractions, and carving pumpkins are becoming more widespread. Skeleton, ghost, witch, and zombie decorations are common. Since Halloween falls during the Australian spring, floral motifs and nature-inspired costumes are also popular. Australian confectioners now produce Halloween candy, including chocolate eyeballs and spiders.

36) New Zealand

Like Australia, New Zealand has adopted Halloween enthusiastically thanks to American cultural influences. Customs include:

  • Trick-or-treating.
  • Costume parties.
  • Decorating homes.
  • Carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns.
  • Watching horror movies.

Haunted houses and ghost tours draw crowds in cities like Wellington. 

37) South Korea

Halloween started catching on in South Korea around the turn of the 21st century. Seoul businesses saw it as a marketing opportunity, and interest spread. Annual costume parades and festivals now occur in Seoul, Busan, and other cities. Trick-or-treat events are hosted for children. Halloween parties and horror-themed venues attract the young adult crowd. As in Japan, the cultural traditions around ancestral worship and harvest festivals like Chuseok remain more significant. 

38) Taiwan

Halloween celebrations in Taiwan reflect a blend of Western influences and traditional Chinese practices around honoring deceased ancestors. The Taiwanese observe Yue Lan along with mainland China and Hong Kong. Costume parties, street festivals, trick-or-treating, and haunted houses in Taiwanese cities around Halloween contain creepy elements of hungry ghosts. 

39) Norway

Norwegians have gradually taken to celebrating Halloween in recent decades. Costumes, parties, trick-or-treating, carved pumpkins, and horror movies are popular, as in other Scandinavian countries. Halloween decor and paraphernalia fill shops by late September. Some Norwegians who live in apartments have Halloween get-togethers in common areas indoors. However, Norway still prioritizes more traditional grave cleaning, church services, and commemorations on All Saints’ Day after Halloween.

40) Finland

In cities, trick-or-treating, costume parties, jack-o-lanterns, and haunted houses are common. Finnish confectionery firms sell candies, gingerbread cookies, and cupcakes decorated as skulls, pumpkins, spiders, and ghosts. However, the older Kekri tradition returns to Finland’s agricultural past. People dressed as goats and other animals on the ancient harvest feast day. Offerings of food are laid out to thank the spirits.

Final words on Halloween Celebrations:

Halloween is celebrated in many different ways all around the world. Halloween, from big parties in the United States to special traditions in countries like Mexico and Ireland, shows how different cultures enjoy having fun and being a little spooky. Whether remembering loved ones, scaring away bad spirits, or just dressing up and having treats, Halloween is a time when people get together and have a good time. It reminds us that even though we’re from different places, we can all enjoy stories, costumes, and playful mischief together.

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