Halloween is an American Holiday filled with pumpkins, scary and funny costumes, candy, corn mazes, trick-or-treating and other festivities. While the Halloween is mostly centered around candy and commercialism, there are Fall festivities going on around the world with similar roots to the American holiday we celebrate.
Nearly every culture around the world has a day (or days) meant to celebrate and remember the deceased, celebrate the fall harvest, or pay homage to our ancestors. Our Halloween is understood to be a relic from ancient Pagan and Celtic rituals from Ireland.
Día de Muertos, is perhaps the most well-known Halloween-like holiday in North America. This festival in Mexico spans from October 31st, until November 2nd, and is a time to remember and pray for deceased loved ones. Recently portrayed in the Pixar film Coco, families often make ofrendas, which are private altars honoring their loved ones adding the favorite foods and sweets of the deceased as gifts.
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong the Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated by Buddhists around mid-September. Around this time of year, it is believed that spirits are able to visit the living, and so elaborate meals, and other gifts like gold and clothes are offered to aid the deceased. A famous tradition here is to light floating lanterns meant to guide the souls through the afterlife.
Regardless of how you celebrate, we want to wish you a Happy Halloween!