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Halloween Around the World

28th October 2022

Spooky season is upon us! Halloween is celebrated around the world, and there are many cultures and festivals that are fantastic to visit this time of year. Here's a few of Airedale's favourite Halloween celebrations.

Italy: Ognissanti

As well as celebrating the traditional Halloween festival we all know and love, on the 1st and 2nd of November Italians also celebrate Ognissanti, or 'All Saints Day'. During Ognissanti, tradition holds that the souls of the deceased come back to visit living relatives. Cemeteries are decorated with chrysanthemums, and food is left out for visiting spirits. Some parents also leave out gifts for their children on behalf of the deceased, like a mini Halloweeny Christmas.

Mexico: The Day of The Dead

Perhaps the most famous of them all is Mexico's 'Day of the Dead'. Also celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November, the colourful fusion of the two-day celebration of deceased ancestors and relatives is famed around the world for the festivals, flowers, and intricately decorated skulls and decorations. Although there are images of death everywhere, this isn't a scary or sad holiday - instead, it's rather the opposite. Visits from dead ancestors and relatives make this festival like a family reunion with a twist, derived from Aztec traditions brought over by Spaniards in the 1500s.

Scotland: Samhain

Samhain is a Gaelic festival that is also celebrated in Ireland and the Isle of Man. Since the first Samhain festival in Scotland, Halloween has always been celebrated in Scotland. The biggest Scottish Halloween tradition is guising, where children would be dressed up in scary disguises to prevent evil spirits. Children would then go door to door and be given offerings of food - much like trick or treating today. Turnips were used rather than pumpkins as lanterns, and would be carried around on the eve of October 31st, which evolved from the use of bonfires to ward off evil spirits.