Halloween Traditions Around the World

Halloween is one of our favorite celebrations here at Sleepy Flyers Club; from fantastical costumes to jack-o-lanterns galore. Although this holiday is commemorated all over the world, many nations have different traditions than we do in the United States. Here are a few ways Halloween is observed in other places:




Photo accredited to Jan Sochor Alamy/National Geographic


1. Mexico - Day of the Dead (‘Día de Los Muertos’)


The Day of the Dead is a very sacred holiday in Mexico. It’s a three day long celebration, beginning on October 31, when it is believed the souls of children that have passed come back to Earth to be with their families. The souls of adults that ahve passed on join them on the 2nd of November. This reunion of the dead and living is celebrated with memorials including the iconic symbol of the sugar skull, and food, most notably, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), a sweet bread that is baked especially for this holiday.



Photo accredited to Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO via Nippon News


2. Japan - Kawasaki Halloween Parade


This is a parade for the most avid Halloweenies! Around our thousand costumed people have converged in Kawasaki, Japan for the past 21 years. This parade requires an application to enter and is only for the die-hard enthusiasts!



Photo accredited to Rgyan


3. India - Pitru Paksha


This 16 day ritual takes place due to the belief that the Hindu god Yama takes a person’s soul when they day. During Pitru Paksha, these souls are allowed to briefly return to visit their families, but only if the families perform the Shraddah, a fire ritual, or else the souls will roam the Earth for eternity.






4. Italy - Ognissanti


The Day of the Dead is a very sacred holiday in Mexico. It’s a three-day-long celebration, beginning on October 31, when it is believed the souls of children that have passed come back to Earth to be with their families. The souls of adults that have passed on join them on the 2nd of November. This reunion of the dead and living is celebrated with memorials including the iconic symbol of the sugar skull, and food, most notably, pan de Muerto (bread of the dead), a sweet bread that is baked especially for this holiday.



Photo accredited to History


5. Ireland and Scotland - Samhain

We couldn’t leave out the lands where Halloween originated! In Ireland and Scotland, this celebration marks the ‘end of the light half of the year’ and has its roots in Celtic and Pagan rituals. Bonfires, games and traditional foods are shared, including the barmbrack, an Irish fruit cake that traditionally has an object wrapped in muslin in the center. The meaning of the object determines the receiver’s fortune.











This blog was by Rudie Obias’ article on Mental Floss

This beautiful celebration in Italy involves the ritual of leaving fresh flowers, typically chrysanthemums, on the graves of not only your own departed but also those of strangers, filling the cemeteries with colorful memorials. Many families also leave a red candle burning in the windowsill to pay tribute to the lost, and set an extra place at the table, inviting them to return.mbol of the sugar skull, and food, most notably, pan de Muerto (bread of the dead), a sweet bread that is baked especially for this holiday.