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Halloween is celebrated the world over in differing spooky ways and consistently referred to as “the day of the dead souls”, when unearthly creatures become creatures of the earth and can either curse or bless people (personally I’d rather have the later). Scary costumes and special treats are all a way to welcome the spirits and avoid their wrath.
Check out some of the traditions for Halloween around the world:
Halloween in Mexico
In Mexico, Latin America, and Spain, All Souls’ Day, which takes place on November 2, is celebrated with a three-day celebration that begins on the evening of October 31. Many families construct an altar to the dead in their homes to honor deceased relatives. Candles and incense are burned to help the deceased find their way home. Relatives also tidy the gravesites of their departed family members. The grave is then decorated with flowers, wreaths, or paper streamers. On November 2, relatives gather at the gravesite to picnic and reminisce.
Halloween in England
In England it is called the Night of Mischief! Children play pranks and blame them on the “innocent” ghosts and goblins doing their rounds on earth. Halloween was earlier coupled with Guy Fawkes Day, which celebrated the execution of a notorious English traitor, Guy Fawkes. Today on Halloween, the English people light bonfires and the children go trick or treating, which originated from the practice of asking for soul cakes. Freaky parties with future-reading and fortune-telling are a fun part of the night. In England, Halloween is also called the Nutcracker Night or Apple Snap Night because people eat roasted nuts and apples on this day.
Halloween in Scotland
In Scotland, Halloween is celebrated with especially spooky traditions. Following the Celtic customs, children go banging on doors and throwing cabbages at them, as acts of mischief. Children play a weird game of cabbage on this Halloween day. They pull out the head of a cabbage with their eyes closed and it is said that the type of cabbage they pull out, determines their future spouse. A white headed cabbage speaks of a dreary old husband and a cabbage with soil on its roots means the spouse will be rich. According to tradition, instead of saying “trick or treat”, the children usually recite “The sky is blue, the grass is green, may we have our Halloween”. The groups of children must also impress neighbors with a song, poem, or dance in order to earn their delicious treats.