The arrival of Hetalia: The World Twinkle (Season 6) on DVD to our anime shop got us wondering how do other countries really celebrate Halloween, October 31st. So we decided to do a bit of research to see how the world celebrates the holiday!
As a very popular holiday, participants dress in costumes, go to homes to receive candy, and decorate their homes to resemble “scary” themes. The most candy is sold during this time of year. Some patrons participate in “tricks” which are pranks against neighbors and unwitting bystanders
Halloween wasn’t a thing in France until the 1990’s with the spread of American ideas and trendy costume parties. It isn’t as popular as it is in the US, but people still dress up and have costume parties as a trendy thing. The more traditional holiday of La Toussaint happens on November 1- the next day- to commemorate the deceased.
Halloween isn’t a thing in most of the country except in large international cities. Bars with foreigner traffic do hold parties with spooky decorations. There are days of the dead though that celebrate deceased family members such as “The Hungry Ghost Festival” and “The Double Nine Festival”.
Latin America and Spain
In the Spanish speaking countries, they celebrate in a 3-day festival known as “Dia de los Muertos” or Day of the Dead which starts on Halloween and ends on November 2nd, All Saint’s Day. This festival honors the dead with food, sweets, and decorations on the shrines of the deceased. Northern Spanish regions do celebrate with pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating.
Nowadays Halloween in the UK is very similar to Halloween in the US. Decades ago it wasn’t a holiday that was celebrated, but now many English denizens participate in trick-or-treating, costume parties, and scary decorations. After Halloween, another big holiday within a week is Bonfire Night- or Guy Fawkes Night- where Brits celebrate with fireworks, bonfires, and parades.
Halloween is also a newer holiday that was introduced in the 1990’s. There are occasional parties, but it’s much more lowkey. The more celebrated event is Alla helgons dag, All Saints’ Day, where respect is paid to saints and to deceased loved ones by lighting many candles.
Many in Germany love the holiday, while others don’t care for it. It’s also another American import from the 1990’s that has grown into a huge industry and event. It’s filled with parties and scary costumes, but not so much trick-or-treating. There are pumpkin festivals and also events in castles!
Once again, Halloween is a holiday from America, but it is more well-received in Japan. There is no trick-or-treating due to cultural conflicts, but other aspects are enjoyed such as the haunted houses and the costuming.
What are your favorite Halloween traditions and how do you celebrate it? Let us know in the comments and be sure to see how the countries celebrate Halloween in the long OVA in the DVD of Hetalia: The World Twinkle!