Events, festivals and traditions: how Halloween is celebrated around the world?



Events, festivals and traditions: how Halloween is celebrated around the world?

While in the United States and many European countries, Halloween is associated with sweets and costumes, in other countries, the holiday looks completely different. Find out more about Halloween events and festivals around the world and how they celebrate Halloween in different countries

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Halloween, celebrated annually on October 31, is one of the oldest holidays in the world. It comes from ancient celebrations and religious rituals and is widespread in many countries of the world. Costume parties, entertainment, raffles, games, bonfires, fireworks or honoring deceased loved ones and ancestors - each state has its own events on this day.

How is Halloween celebrated in different countries of the world? The most common events, festivals and traditions are below.

Halloween events and festivals

- Salem's Haunted Happenings, USA - one of the most popular festivals in America.

The town of Salem has long been synonymous with all things spooky, thanks to the infamous witch trials in the 17th century. Throughout the year, thousands of tourists come here to visit attractions believed to be haunted, such as the Witches' House and Burying Point Cemetery.

However, Halloween is the most popular time to explore the city. It's all thanks to Salem Haunted Happenings, a festival billed as the largest Halloween celebration in the world. For about 40 years, the month-long events have attracted half a million visitors every year. The program is very busy: from the big parade and costume balls to ghost tours, Haunted Biz Baz street fair, movie nights and more.

- The Halloween Parade in New York, USA has been a beloved tradition of the city for almost half a century, filling the downtown area with miracles and spooky events. Residents and visitors to New York informally compete to see who is dressed in the best, boldest, or scariest costume. Participants march along 6th Avenue accompanied by an orchestra. Celebrations continue at numerous parties throughout the city.

- Day of the Dead parade in Mexico - thousands of participants, dressed in skeleton costumes, dance and stroll through the streets of the Mexican capital. They go to the festive altar, which is installed on the Central Square of the city. A pleasant bonus will be a special night gondola ride along the UNESCO-listed canals of the Sochimilco district.

- Halloween Party in Dracula's Castle, Transylvania, Romania - spend a festive evening in the legendary Bran Castle, the dream of every true Halloween fan. Dating back to 1377, the fortress sits high in the mist-shrouded forests of Transylvania, best known as Dracula's Castle. Dancing, a costume contest and interesting entertainment are a must-have part of the Halloween party at Bran Castle.

- Vampire Ball, New Orleans, USA – a masquerade ball with the energy of a rock concert and the elegance of a 19th century burlesque cabaret. The holiday program includes performances, live music, dances and a costume contest. We also advise you to try the signature Bloodbath cocktail here. Don't forget the dress code: black suits and cocktail dresses in formal vampire style.

- Halloween Festival, Derry, Northern Ireland – Europe's largest Halloween festival, Derry Halloween, is held in the walled Northern Irish city of Derry. A series of themed installations and events are held throughout the city, the most popular of which is the Haunted Harvest Market.

The highlight of the celebration is the street carnival parade, a free event that gathers thousands of musicians, dancers, circus performers and costumed spectators. The celebration ends with a brilliant fireworks display over the River Foyle.

- Festival of Pumpkins, Ottawa, Canada - Held in Upper Canada Village, this is an exhibit of 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins that light up at night, totaling almost 1 km. There's everything from tiered arches and pumpkin trees to even dragons, tigers and trains made entirely of pumpkins.

- The Festival of Giant Kites, Guatemala is a colorful celebration held in early November in honor of All Saints' Day and Day of the Dead. Bright handmade kites are flown over the cemeteries of Santiago Zacatepec and Sumpango. It is believed that this tradition is 3000 years old and it is a unique way of communicating with the dead.

- Dani Masquerade, Costa Rica - celebrated throughout the country on October 31. Participants wear large, colorful handmade masks and dance through the streets to folk music. This tradition is almost 200 years old, it originates from pre-Columbian customs. The largest parades take place in Cartago, Escas and Barva de Heredia, cities known for their mask-making skills. It is worth noting that these are not just masks, but rather elaborate papier-mâché heads that represent characters from pop culture, mythology, and political figures. The festival is accompanied by the music of local orchestras.

How Halloween is celebrated in different countries of the world: traditions


The Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) is actually not quite a "Mexican Halloween", on this day it is customary to honor the memory of deceased relatives, who are believed to return to their earthly homes. It is not a solemn event, traditionally families gather together, build an altar in honor of the dead in their homes and decorate it with sweets, flowers, photos, samples of the deceased's favorite foods and drinks, as well as fresh water. Families also clean up the graves of their dead relatives.


Since Halloween was first celebrated in Tokyo Disneyland in 2000, this holiday has become popular all over the country. Street parties, parades and home holidays are held in the cities of the country. To impress each other, people dress up in festive masquerade costumes. It is interesting that quite often festive events take place even on trains.

The most prestigious Halloween event in Japan is the Kawasaki Halloween Parade, in which about 4,000 people participate. However, you can't just put on a costume and attend a party. Organizers have certain requirements and standards, participants must apply at least two months in advance to join the festivities.


Since the 4th century AD, All Saints' Day has been celebrated in Italy on November 1, when Italians honor the martyrs and saints of the Catholic Church. The following day, November 2, is known as Giorno dei Morti, or Day of the Dead. Usually people spend this day with family and attend church. However, there are also certain traditions - in Sicily it is believed that the dead bring sweets or small gifts to well-behaved children, and in the Lombardy region it is customary to leave a vase with water in the kitchen so that the dead can drink water.


On the evening of All Saints' Day (November 1), children dress up in white sheets to look like ghosts or souls stuck in purgatory and knock on neighbours' doors, sing and say prayers - sometimes the children receive a treat.

United Kingdom

The phrase "purses or treats" arose precisely in England, during the celebration of the so-called "Night of Mischief". In the same way that people in the US cut pumpkins, English children carved patterns out of large beets, which were known as "punkies".


Halloween auf Deutsch became popular in the 1990s. People start decorating buildings around mid-October. On November 11, the Germans hold a costume procession with flashlights.

Numerous events and festivals in honor of Halloween are held in different parts of the world. Choose the most interesting holiday or tradition and go on a fabulous adventure.

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