You Must Know: Halloween Traditions And Celebrations Around The World
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You Must Know: Halloween Traditions And Celebrations Around The World

Are you planning a Halloween vacation or planning to join Halloween events? Learn about the different Halloween traditions from around the world!

Octavia Chen

Octavia Chen

Aug 21st 20238 min read

jackolanterns and the cemetery

Although celebrated differently from country to country, it’s not hard to find similarity in different Halloween traditions around the world. Some countries take their own unique spin on this holiday. Others celebrate the spiritual afterlife with age-old practices unique to their culture and religions. What unites these different variations of Halloween is the celebration of life and loved ones.

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In this article, Giftpack will take you through the history of Halloween in countries listed below, as well as each country’s Halloween traditions, food, and gifts! Let’s dive into it

Halloween Traditions and Histories

Let’s take a closer look at how different countries celebrate this ancient spooky holiday:

  • Latin America
  • Haiti
  • United Kingdom (England)
  • United States
  • Romania
  • Italy
  • India
  • China
  • Japan
  • South Korea

Latin America: Día de los Muertos

día de los muertos in mexico


The Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a culturally rich tradition akin to Halloween that takes place on November 1st and 2nd. Despite the name, this day is all about celebrating life, joy and color. Its essence is to demonstrate love and respect for the spirits of departed family members.

Similar to other Halloween traditions around the world, the celebrations include activities like dressing in bright makeup and dazzling costumes, throwing parades, singing and dancing.

Halloween Traditions / Food / Gifts:

The festivities often feature breads, candies and other foods in the shape of skulls and skeletons. “Baked sugar skulls” and “day of the dead bread” represent the departed souls and are an essential item on the altar.

Haiti: Fed Gede

fed gede celebration in haiti


Every year, on November 1 and 2, Haiti becomes the stage for a unique celebration: Fèt Gede, the "Festival of the Dead". Much like the Day of the Dead practiced in Mexico and by Latino communities in the US, Fèt Gede is a way to pay respects to loved ones who have passed on.

Halloween Traditions / Food / Gifts:

This Voodoo holiday is celebrated in parts of Haiti and other Voodoo communities around the world. People take part by lighting candles, journeying to their ancestors' burial places and drinking rum infused with chilies.

The streets will be full of vodouwizan. They come together around cemeteries to make devotions, perform precise rituals, and to generally honor the deceased.

England: Guy Fawkes Day

guy fawke's day in england


Bonfire Night, also known as as Guy Fawkes Night (or Guy Fawkes Day) in the UK, ignites every November 5th to mark the failed 17th-century attempt to blow up Parliament and assassinate King James I. You can mark the occasion by lighting your own bonfire, going to a fireworks show, or learning more about the Gunpowder Plot.

Guy Fawkes Day festivities were designed to commemorate the execution of a notorious English traitor, Guy Fawkes.

** Halloween Traditions / Food / Gifts:**

People usually light fireworks or attend a Guy Fawkes parade on this day, or sit around the bonfire with family and friends and pass on the story about the Gunpowder Plot while sipping mulled wine

USA: Halloween

jackolanterns during halloween in the usa


Every October 31, both children and adults slip into the night as ghouls and goblins, princesses and pirates. Many Americans celebrate the traditions of Halloween by dressing up in costumes and telling tales of witches and ghosts. For most of the 19th century and well into the 20th, Halloween was more trick than treat. Bands of mischief-makers roamed city streets and country roads blowing horns and vandalizing both residences and businesses.

Halloween Traditions / Food / Gifts:

People celebrated Halloween by wearing scary costumes or dressing up like popular celebrities. The most common activity is for children to go from house to house and ask for candies. Homeowners place lanterns in front of their houses to scare evil spirits and to welcome trick-or-treaters. Modern fun activities that reflect the traditional part of Halloween include watching horror movies and visiting haunted houses.

No one does Halloween quite like the US. We cum up 5 common and fun Halloween traditions below!

  1. Making Jack-o’-Lanterns
  2. Wearing spooky costumes
  3. Trick-or-treating
  4. Visiting haunted houses
  5. Telling scary stories

Romania: Day of Dracula

romanian dress up as dracula to celebrate halloween


Halloween is a special occasion in places like the Gothic fairy-tale castle Bran, near Brasov in Transylvania, Romania. Bran is often associated with 15th century Prince Vlad Tepes (1431–1476), the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

There are several guides and inclusive travel packages in Romania that offer tours and parties at Count Dracula’s castle for Halloween. Most of them take place in the biggest shopping malls. Romanians get really serious when it comes to costuming, playing all sorts of scary games, and being face-painted into vampires, ghosts and little monsters.

Halloween Traditions / Food / Gifts:

Romanians are huge fans of celebrations, so Halloween is all about big parties and morbid fun.

Italy: Ognissanti

ognissanti decoration in italy


Halloween is referred to as All Saints’ Day in Italy and is filled with an array of events and costume parties. The Holiday begins on October 31 and goes through November 2 to include All Souls Day. People celebrate the modern, imported celebration of “Halloween” alongside the older, traditional “Ognissanti” festivities.

During Ognissanti, tradition holds that the souls of the deceased come back to visit their living relatives. People decorate cemeteries with fall chrysanthemums, leaving food out for visiting spirits. Some parents leave gifts out for their children on behalf of their dead relatives, almost like a miniature Christmas.

Halloween Traditions / Food / Gifts:

Although the trick or treat tradition is not known very well in the city, there are jack-o-lanterns as well as bobbing for apples, and nightclubs throughout the city offer costume parties.

If you want a Roman style of Hallwoeen, visiting Rome’s ancient catacombs could be a perfect choice! Also, there are cemeteries and catacombs in Naples, the remains of the volcanic disaster in Pompeii, horror movie festivals throughout the country, and many other events that are available to help celebrate Italian Halloween.

India: Pitru Paksha

indians showing respect to the deceased ones


In the Hindu religion, it is believed that when a person dies, the Hindu god of death takes his or her soul to purgatory, where they’ll find their last three generations of a family.

To ensure their family’s place in the afterlife, one must perform a fire ritual so the soul will not wander the Earth for eternity. Therefore, families offer the dead food such as rice, lentils, spring beans, and pumpkins cooked in silver or copper pots and served on banana leaves.

Halloween Traditions / Food / Gifts:

People in metro cities dress up like ghosts with scary makeup. Apart from that, family entertainment parks, kids’ play zones, and activity centers organize Halloween costume parties for children too. Restaurants in metro cities serve Halloween-themed dishes.

China: Teng Chieh

chinese displays lanterns on the lake


It is a religious festival in China that signifies the connection between the living and the dead. It’s also known as the Ghost Festival, Teng Chieh, and so on. Chinese believe that the spirits revisit the mortal world on this day.

Halloween Traditions / Food / Gifts:

Families prepare traditional foods and offer them to their ancestors (the departed souls of their family). Bonfires, lanterns and colorful hanging lights are lit on miniature paper boats. Lanterns on water are released to make way for the spirits. Halloween is also mentioned as the feast of the hungry ghosts in China because it is dedicated to spirits on a peaceful journey to heaven.

Japan: Halloween

young people cosplay in different characters in korean halloween


Although Halloween is not a holiday that is native to Japan and rarely has traditional trick-or-treating taking place, teenagers and young adults still manage to appear in fun costumes and party all night long. What makes Halloween particularly fun and exciting in Tokyo and other big cities is the intense costuming.

Halloween Traditions / Food / Gifts:

Halloween events are mainly celebrated through street parties where people wear all kinds of stunning costumes and party into the early hours. Parades and costume contests are also among the favorite ways that Japanese people tend to celebrate Halloween. Popular attractions such as theme parks usually have special events to entice more visitors during this season.

South Korea: Halloween

koreans dress up in scary costumes in halloween


Similar to other Asian countries, trick-or-treating seems a little bit different in Korea as it would have been in western countries. However, Halloween has gained immense popularity amongst the youth in recent years and is on track to becoming a one-of-a-kind day for celebrations.

Halloween Traditions / Food / Gifts:

Theme parks in Korea held an annual Halloween festival that gives you the most thrilling Halloween experience ever! There are also Halloween Night Safari Trams available for both children and adults to see the most active moments of wild animals, such as tigers and lions, at night. It will definitely be one of the most unforgettable for one to remember.

For many people, Halloween is a chance to reconnect with friends and family or, for some, an excuse for a night of partying. No matter how you choose to celebrate this spooky holiday, it's important to know the customs and traditions from around the world so you don’t offend different cultures. And don’t forget to send “lovely” gifts to your family and friends

Check out some of the fun gifts for Halloween on Giftpack!

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Octavia Chen

Octavia Chen

Aug 21st 20238 min read

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