Happy Halloween from Try The World! A beloved holiday for many – celebrating the silly, spooky, and macabre – it is said that Halloween is one of the world’s oldest Holidays. But do you know of any Halloween customs beyond trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns?
Originally celebrated as a harvest festival with pagan roots, Halloween was once highly revered and celebrated to honor those who have passed. Upon arriving in to North America in the 19th century, the holiday began to become commercialized, which shifted the original intent and brought about new means of celebrating.
Nowadays, Halloween is marked by costumes, horror movie releases, candy, and, of course, trick-or-treating. However, the original means of Halloween are still celebrated in many other countries. Here’s a rundown of how the Holiday is celebrated worldwide:
Austrians believe that spirits come to visit on Halloween night, so they leave out bread, water, and a lamp before going to sleep.
Many Belgians light candles to commemorate and celebrate the memory of relatives who have passed away.
On Halloween night, chairs are placed around the fire: one for each living relative and one for each spirit.
“Punkies,” an early version of the jack-o-lantern, are carried around by English children to ward off any spirits with ill intentions. The punkies are usually carved beets or turnips.
Many Germans actually put their knives away on Halloween so as not to invite any harm onto themselves or any visiting spirits.
Halloween is said to have originated in Ireland. Many traditional Halloween customs – like those celebrated in America – actually began in Ireland, such as early iterations of bobbing for apples and trick-or-treating.
El Dia de los Muertos is a jovial remembrance for those have passed; many Mexicans create decorated altars in order to honor them. Candles and incense are burned throughout, and some even celebrate with tequila and a Mariachi band! It is also said that Monarch butterflies represent these spirits.