Culture\Events and Festivals

Spooky Halloween: East meets West

CGTN | Updated: 2017-11-01 16:15

Spooky Halloween: East meets West


When leaves turn red, witches, ghosts, monsters and other scary creatures make an appearance on the spookiest time of the year -- Halloween. Celebrated on October 31 every year, a day before All Saint's Day, this "haunted" holiday gets millions of people around the world to wear their scariest costume while partying or trick or treating.

The festival, also called All Hallows' Eve or All Hallows' Evening, which means to remember the dead, has gradually developed into an entertaining celebration, and has become one of the most popular festivals among children and adults with its traditions for fooling around in costumes.

This spooky festival has long been associated to many English-speaking countries. But apparently, dressing up in scary costumes and "trick-or-treating" to delicious food and fancy parties are now practiced worldwide.

There are surely more ways to celebrate it. So how do people around the globe celebrate it?

Customs: West vs East

Halloween in many Spanish countries is known as "El Dia de los Muertos," the Day of the Dead, which is a three-day event that takes place every year from October 31 to November 2. For Mexicans, it's the time of the year where they put offerings such as flowers and food next to pictures of family members who passed away.

Families in Chile, meanwhile, visit the cemetery and place flowers and other stuff to decorate the tombs of their loved ones.

Although Halloween is not a major holiday in Brazil, there are still local celebrations that include colorful caipirinhas (made with cachaça, brown sugar and lime), batucadas (a Brazilian rhythm technique made by percussion instruments) and colorful parades with drum music.

German people are not so fond of Halloween but they do have some specials to celebrate it, which includes watching horror movies and taking walks at night in spooky places like graveyards and the woods.

In Greece, they do "The Apokrias" or the carnival, which takes place in February when friends get together and knock on other friends' doors to make them guess who is hiding behind the dress-up and the mask.

On the other side of the world, Chinese people also have their own celebration. Near the end of the summer – on July 15th in the Chinese lunar calendar, Chinese people celebrate the Hungry Ghost Festival – a time many believe the gates to the spirit world open and ghosts come out to visit the living. Families place a sumptuous meal on the altar and create paper offerings that look like money or personal items. These will then be burned to be sent back into the spirit world.

Instead of "trick-or-treating" or holding parties, young Japanese invented "costume play". The annual "Hello Halloween Pumpkin Parade" in Tokyo Disney Resort draws thousands of dressed-up children and crowds.

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