Newsflash: Halloween isn’t celebrated everywhere. So just what IS everybody doing this time of year if not eating themselves sick and dressing like hoes?
Why, partying of course! Here are 10 Halloweenish traditions from around the globe!
Mexico: Dia de los Muertos
Unlike Halloween, Dia De Los Muertos (or “Day of the Dead”) actually still has a point. (Honoring the dead or something).
But it’s still got Halloween’s best assets: costumes, candy, and boozin’.
Thailand: It’s a Tourist Thing
Halloween is sorta kinda sometimes practiced in Thailand, mostly for western tourists in hotels and restaurants. Here’s a photo of a lady — or a dude, you never know in Thailand — dressed up in one of the city’s most hopping tourist/gay-friendly sectors.
Ireland: The birthplace of Halloween
Halloween was invented by Celts in Ireland/Scotland, and it was much scarier back then. Farmers believed that ancient spirits could claw their way into reality on October 31, so they had to burn bones and stuff to welcome the good ghosts and cast off the bad ones.
I prefer the pointless, debauched version of Halloween they have today.
Oh and the Irish carve turnips.
Japan loves to dress up, so the country started adopting Halloween in recent years. There’s even a parade in Kawasaki.
Hong Kong: Hungry Ghost Festival
Like Thailand, Hong Kong only has touristy Halloween events. But there is the time-honored Yue Laan Festival in August, or “Hungry Ghost Festival,” and that one is a whole MONTH long. To appease all those hungry ghosts roaming the earth, residents take to the streets to celebrate, and to burn cash and cook food for them.
There are some scattered Halloween celebrations in Korea, but the country’s similar-ish event is Chuseok. For one day toward the beginning of the fall, Koreans visit their ancestors’ hometowns and chow down like crazy. You know, for the harvest.
Scotland: Apple dookin’!
Bobbing for apples, or apple dookin’, is a Scottish invention. It’s a totally unsanitary, dangerous, awesome tradition of tying your hands behind your back and immersing your face in a bucket full of apples and water. The aim: nab an apple. Why we don’t bob for more awesome stuff is beyond me.
Holland: Lanterns aplenty!
There’s Halloween in Holland, but here’s a peep at St. Martin’s Day, a lantern festival on November 11 all over Europe. Kids go door to door with lanterns and sing songs about a saint. Hmm…doesn’t sound as fun, but it’s awful pretty.
On November 1 and 2, Haitians celebrate Day of the Dead with rituals in honor of voodou spirits and ancestors.
Poland: All Saint’s Day
Poland doesn’t really do Halloween, but they have All Saint’s Day, which consists of a depressing trip to the cemetery to visit deceased loved ones. Yay.