Who is trick-or-treating around the globe?

We may be off Trick-or-Treating but have you ever been curious about how Halloween is celebrated around the globe? We were! That’s why we asked our in-country team if and how they celebrate in their corner of the world. Here’s what they told us about their traditions!

Costa Rica

 

Eva - Costa RicaIn Costa Rica, Halloween is a foreign tradition that isn’t particularly widespread across the country however, it has been gaining strength with the younger generation. The tradition of decorating houses and requesting sweets is not very common at all but they do dress up and have costume parties!

 

 

 

 

Ecuador

Chela - Ecuador

Ecuador is similar to Costa Rica in that Halloween is not widely celebrated other than in the International/American schools however, they do celebrate ‘Día de los Muertos’ or ‘Day of the Dead’ around the 1st and 2nd November.

Traditionally on this day in the cities, friends and family exchange ‘Guaguas’ or bread dolls, usually made of wheat, sugar and butter and shaped like a child or baby. A purple drink made of black corn, blackberries, pineapple and spices is also popular on these days.

In certain indigenous communities, inhabitants go to the cemetery to visit their dead relatives and loved ones and symbolically share the food they carry. A ritual of eating food at the grave is performed with the belief that death is a mere step to another life similar to this one.

Peru

Stephanie - PeruPeruvians celebrate 2 holidays around this time of year: Halloween and ‘El Día de la Canción Criolla’ (Criolla Music Day).

Halloween is celebrated following the traditions taken from the USA. Young children look forward to dressing up in masks, superhero costumes or characters from their favourite movies. Nightclubs, concerts and festivals organise events with costume competitions, while children go out in groups accompanied by their parents to ask for sweets from door to door. Although Halloween is a foreign holiday, it has been growing commercially in recent years and is gaining popularity especially in families with small children.

 

 

Traditionally, October 31 in Peru is Criolla Music Day. Criolla Music Day celebrates the Peruvian native song which consists of Andean, African and Spanish music influences, and is accompanied by “Marinera”, the national dance of Peru. The whole night is spent dancing and singing, often with a Pisco or two (a traditional Peruvian brandy) among the adults. The celebrations continue into early November and like the Day of the Dead traditions, they share gifts and food in the cemeteries.

In some areas people even decide to spend a night at the cemeteries, providing company to their loved ones who, according to belief, return for two days to visit the living.

Borneo

Mel - BorneoHalloween is celebrated in a lot of the main cities in Borneo but not so much in the more remote villages. There is a similar festival which takes place around the end of August known as ‘The Hungry Ghost Festival’.

During this time, it is believed the ‘Gates of Hell’ are opened and that the dead return to visit their living relatives. The festival is celebrated with ceremonies and prayers and food are offered to the dead. Chicken, vegetables, fruits, bean curd and white rice are placed at street corners and roadsides to appease the spirits. Some people also avoid doing things considered taboo during this period such as avoiding standing under trees or bus stops…follow this link for some more examples!

 

 

 

Cambodia

Bunlay - CambodiaCambodia does not celebrate Halloween at all. However, they also celebrate ‘The Hungry Ghost Festival’ or ‘Pjoom Ben’. People feed the hungry ghosts in temples before sunrise, burning candles and incense and throwing food to the ground outside the temple where the hungry ghosts are believed to be waiting for their food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kenya

Reesha - KenyaOn the whole, Africa doesn’t really even acknowledge Halloween. For religious reasons (especially in Islam), many people do not like anything related to ghosts and the dead.

Having said this, there are the occasional individuals who do celebrate Halloween in small gatherings of friends, making the most of a reason for a party.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the celebrations and traditions!

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