Halloween around the world
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

is a celebration observed on October 31, primarily in regions of the Western world; the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly between geographical areas.


Halloween is a widely celebrated cultural event in Ireland. It is known in Irish
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

 as Oíche Shamhna (ˈiːhə haunˠə ee-hah how-nah), literally "Samhain Night." In Irish, Samhain
Samhain is a Gaelic harvest festival held on October 31–November 1. It was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and was popularised as the "Celtic New Year" from the late 19th century, following Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer...

 is the name for the month of November. The medieval Irish festival of Samhain
Samhain is a Gaelic harvest festival held on October 31–November 1. It was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and was popularised as the "Celtic New Year" from the late 19th century, following Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer...

 marked the end of the harvest, heralding shorter days and the "darker half" of the year. It is linked to the dead revisiting the mortal world, large communal bonfire
A bonfire is a controlled outdoor fire used for informal disposal of burnable waste material or as part of a celebration. Celebratory bonfires are typically designed to burn quickly and may be very large...

s and associated lore.
On Halloween night, adults and children dress up as creatures from the underworld
The Underworld is a region which is thought to be under the surface of the earth in some religions and in mythologies. It could be a place where the souls of the recently departed go, and in some traditions it is identified with Hell or the realm of death...

 (e.g., ghosts, ghouls, zombies, witches, and goblins), light bonfires, and enjoy spectacular fireworks displays – in particular, the city of Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

 is home to the largest organized Halloween celebration on the island, in the form of a street carnival and fireworks display.

Houses are frequently adorned with pumpkins, or traditional turnip
The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock...

 carved into scary faces; lights or candles are sometimes placed inside the carvings, resulting in an eerie effect. The traditional Halloween cake in Ireland is the barmbrack
Barmbrack is a yeasted bread with added sultanas and raisins.Usually sold in flattened rounds, it is often served toasted with butter along with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The dough is sweeter than sandwich bread, but not as rich as cake, and the sultanas and raisins add flavour and texture to...

, which is a fruit bread. The Halloween Brack traditionally contained various objects baked into the bread and was used as a fortune-telling
Fortune-telling is the practice of predicting information about a person's life. The scope of fortune-telling is in principle identical with the practice of divination...

 game. In the barmbrack were a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin (originally a silver sixpence), and a ring. Each item, when received in the slice, was supposed to carry a meaning to the person concerned: the pea, the person would not marry that year; the stick, "to beat one's wife with," would have an unhappy marriage or continually be in disputes; the cloth or rag, would have bad luck or be poor; the coin, would enjoy good fortune or be rich; and the ring, would be married within the year. Commercially produced barmbracks for the Halloween market still include a toy ring.

Games are often played, such as bobbing for apples, in which apples, peanuts, and other nuts and fruit and some small coins are placed in a basin of water. The apples and nuts float, but the coins, which sink, are harder to catch. Everyone takes turns catching as many items possible using only their mouths. In some households, the coins are embedded in the fruit for the children to "earn" as they catch each apple. Another common game involves the hands-free eating of an apple hung on a string attached to the ceiling. Games of divination are also played at Halloween, but are becoming less popular. Lunchtime (the midday meal, sometimes called "dinner" in Ireland), on Halloween is called Colcannon
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. It is also the name of a song about the dish.-Dish:...


Similar to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Halloween is today associated with anti-social behaviour with October 31st being the busiest day of the year for the Emergency Services. Bangers and fireworks
Fireworks are a class of explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event is a display of the effects produced by firework devices...

 are illegal in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

; however, they are commonly smuggled in from Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

 where they are legal. Bonfires are frequently built around Halloween. Trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating or "Guising", is a customary practice for children on Halloween in many countries. Children in costumes travel from house to house in order to ask for treats such as candy with the question "Trick or treat?"...

 is popular amongst children on October 31st and Halloween parties and events are commonplace.


Scotland, having a shared culture with Ireland, refers to the medieval festival of Samhain
Samhain is a Gaelic harvest festival held on October 31–November 1. It was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and was popularised as the "Celtic New Year" from the late 19th century, following Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer...

 in Scottish Gaelic as Oidhche Shamhna, the "Summer's night." During the fire festival, souls of the dead wander the Earth and are free to return to the mortal world until dawn. Traditionally, bonfires and lanterns (samhnag in Scottish Gaelic) would be lit to ward off the phantoms and evil spirits that emerge at midnight.

The name Halloween is first attested in the 16th century as a Scottish shortening of the fuller All-Hallows-Even, that is, the night before All Hallows Day. All observances of Halloween made an application to the agency of evil spirits, and Dumfries
Dumfries is a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. It is near the mouth of the River Nith into the Solway Firth. Dumfries was the county town of the former county of Dumfriesshire. Dumfries is nicknamed Queen of the South...

 poet John Mayne
John Mayne
John Mayne , was a Scottish poet born in Dumfries, South West Scotland. In 1780, his poem The Siller Gun appeared in its original form in Ruddiman's Magazine, published by Walter Ruddiman in Edinburgh. It is a humorous poem descriptive of an ancient custom in Dumfries of shooting for the "Siller...

's 1780 poem made note of pranks at Halloween; "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernatural associated with the night, "Bogies" (ghosts). Eminent Scottish poet Rabbie Burns
Robert Burns
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide...

 was influenced by Maynes composition, and portrayed some of the customs in his poem Halloween
Halloween (poem)
"Halloween" is a poem written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1785. First published in 1786, the poem is included in the Kilmarnock volume...

(1785). According to Burns, Halloween is "thought to be a night when witches, devils, and other mischief-making beings are all abroad on their baneful midnight errands".

Traditional customs and lore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 include divination
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic standardized process or ritual...

 practices, ways of trying to predict the future. By the 18th century, most of the customs were methods for young people to search for their future husbands or wives. A traditional Scottish form of divining one's future spouse is to carve an apple in one long strip, then toss the peel over one's shoulder. The peel is believed to land in the shape of the first letter of the future spouse's name.

Children who ventured out carried a candle-lit lantern (samhnag) carved with a devilish face to frighten away faeries (sídhe
The aos sí are a supernatural race in Irish mythology and Scottish mythology are comparable to the fairies or elves. They are said to live underground in the fairy mounds, across the western sea, or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans...

, or sìth, in modern Gaelic) or evil spirits. Such Halloween lanterns were made from a turnip, or "neep" in Lowland Scots
Scots language
Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster . It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language variety spoken in most of the western Highlands and in the Hebrides.Since there are no universally accepted...

. In modern times, pumpkins are used, as in North American traditions, possibly because it is easier to carve a face into a pumpkin than into a turnip.

If children approached the door of a house, they were given offerings of food (Halloween being a harvest festival), which served to ward off the potential spirits that may lurk among them. The children's practice of "guising" (derived from "disguising"), going from door to door in supernatural-themed costumes for food or coins, is a traditional Halloween custom in Scotland and Ireland. Among the earliest record of Guising at Halloween in Scotland is in 1895, where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.

A traditional Halloween game includes apple "dooking", or "dunking" or (i.e., retrieving one from a bucket of water using only one's mouth), and attempting to eat, while blindfolded, a treacle
Treacle is any syrup made during the refining of sugar and is defined as "uncrystallized syrup produced in refining sugar". Treacle is used chiefly in cooking as a form of sweetener or condiment....

/jam-coated scone
Scone (bread)
The scone is a small Scottish quick bread especially popular in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,Belgium and Ireland, but are also eaten in many other countries. They are usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, with baking powder as a leavening agent...

 hanging on a piece of string. In some places, apple-dunking has been replaced (because of fears of contracting saliva-borne illnesses in the water) by standing over the bowl holding a fork in one's mouth and releasing it in an attempt to skewer an apple using only gravity.


All Saints' Day
All Saints
All Saints' Day , often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown...

 (All Hallows Day) and All Souls' Day customs would include where on All Souls' Eve, families stayed up late, and little "soul cakes" were eaten by everyone. At the stroke of midnight, there was solemn silence among households, which had candles burning in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes and a glass of wine on the table to refresh them. The tradition of giving soul cakes that originated in Great Britain and Ireland was known as souling, often seen as the origin of modern trick or treating in North America, and souling continued in parts of England as late as the 1930s, with children going from door to door singing songs and saying prayers for the dead in return for cakes or money.

Bobbing for apples is a well-established association with Halloween. In the game, attempts are made (using only one's mouth) to catch an apple placed in a water-filled barrel. Once an apple is caught, it is sometimes peeled and tossed over the shoulder in the hope that the strips would fall into the shape of a letter, which would be the first initial of the participant's true love.

Other traditions include making toffee apples and apple tarts. Apple tarts may be baked with a coin hidden inside, and nuts of all types are traditional Halloween fare.

There has been concern about the potential for antisocial behaviour, particularly among older teenagers, on Halloween. Cases of houses being "egg-bombed" or having lit fireworks posted through the letterbox (especially when the occupants do not give money or gifts) have been reported, and the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 reported that for Halloween 2006, police forces stepped up patrols to respond to such mischief.


In many urban areas, principally South Wales, Welsh children Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat is a 1952 American animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The cartoon, which takes place on Halloween night, follows a series of pranks between Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie who are aided by Witch Hazel...

, as per the American custom. Halloween parties and events are common place.

The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Germany, and Austria

Halloween customs have spread since the 1990s in continental Europe, starting in France and the holiday has become increasingly popular in Belgium, Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, and Austria since the early 1990s. From early October, stores are full of merchandise related to the popular Halloween themes. Students and little children dress up on Halloween for parties and small parades.
Halloween is more successful and partially ousting some older customs like the Rübengeistern (turnip ghosts), Martinisingen
Martinisingen is an old Protestant custom which is found especially in East Friesland, but also on the Lüneburg Heath and in other parts of North and East Germany. It also goes under the names of Martini or Martinssingen and the Low German names of Sünnematten or Mattenherrn...

 and others.Halloween in der Steiermark und anderswo, Volkskunde (Münster in Westfalen, Hrsg. Editha Hörandner, LIT Verlag Münster, 2005 ISBN 3825888894. The University of Graz
University of Graz
The University of Graz , a university located in Graz, Austria, is the second-largest and second-oldest university in Austria....

 undertook a research project about Halloween led by Editha Hörandner. According to her, the often heard claims of Celtic or pagan origin is used as a sort of "quality brand" (Gütesiegel) for the authenticity of the tradition.

Hörander sees those claims as result of a strong and widespread passion for continuity and fictitious celtic roots. However, the practical rites of present-day Halloween in middle Europe are, according to Hörnander, neither (neo)pagan nor -Celtic. The actual origin of present-day Halloween as a quick reimport from the USA became, in recent decades, a topic of much greater importance in modern folklore research.


In Hungary Halloween has only recent history. Only in the last few years became into habit to carve pumpkins to make up lanterns and it's not widely spread yet however the popularity of it is growing. (In 2011 hundreds of carved pumpkins where displayed on the Heroes' Square (Hősök tere) in Budapest for charity and fund raising.)
In general the meaning of Halloween is known in the country but not celebrated, Trick or Treat is absolutely ignored.
There is a strong tradition of All Saints' Day (in the Roman Catholic Church officially the Solemnity of All Saints or Festum omnium sanctorum) on the 1st of November and Day of the Dead (aka All Soul's Day or Commemoratio omnium Fidelium Defunctorum) on the 2nd of November.


Halloween in Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 is celebrated around the myth of "Dracula
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor...

" on October 31. In Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 and especially in the city of Sighişoara
Sighişoara is a city and municipality on the Târnava Mare River in Mureş County, Romania. Located in the historic region Transylvania, Sighişoara has a population of 27,706 ....

, there are many costume parties, for , that are created from the US model. Also the spirit of Dracula is believed to live there because the town was the site of many witch trials; these are recreated today by actors on the night of Halloween.


In Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Halloween, after first becoming popular in 1999 is on the wane. Switzerland already has a "festival overload" and even though Swiss people like to dress up for any occasion, they do prefer a traditional element.

Ueli Mäder, a professor of sociology at Basel University said that the Swiss adoption of Halloween about ten years ago – Swiss shops stocked Halloween costumes and masks for the first time in 1999 – came from "a need for rituals". "In a strongly commercialised world a need arises for meaningful experiences. I can imagine that a ritual like Halloween when it is celebrated in a simple genuine way can satisfy that need". But he added: "It also took on an exaggerated or extreme form for a while which probably turned some people off. Perhaps is there is a need to bring Halloween back to a more simple level".


In the traditional culture of some regions of Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 like Patra
Patra may refer to:* Patras, a port city in western Greece* Patra , a dish from Gujarat, India* Patra , a female Reggae artist* Patra, a surname from Orissa, India...

, Xanthi
Xanthi ; is a city in Thrace, northeastern Greece. It is the capital of the Xanthi peripheral unit of the periphery of East Macedonia and Thrace.-History:...

 and Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 there are since the last century traditions similar to Halloween but are mostly like the Rio Carnival
Rio Carnival
The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.-Samba schools:...

, Feast of Fools
Feast of Fools
The Feast of Fools, known also as the festum fatuorum, festum stultorum, festum hypodiaconorum, or fête des fous, are the varying names given to popular medieval festivals regularly celebrated by the clergy and laity from the fifth century until the sixteenth century in several countries of Europe,...

 and Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
The terms "Mardi Gras" , "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday...

. These celebrations are observed on February
February is the second month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. It is the shortest month and the only month with fewer than 30 days. The month has 28 days in common years and 29 days in leap years...

 with big carnivals and parades.
However, due to the American influence on the children from the very young age, from their schools and television, Halloween became more popular in Greece after 2005.
The celebration is not recognized from the Orthodox Church, and all the celebrations are unofficial.
Every year there are also special episodes on the Greek Television Channels and a Halloween Block on Disney Channel Greece
Disney Channel Greece
Disney Channel launched on November 7, 2009 and is available to the subscribers of Conn-x TV and Nova Greece in Greece and in Cyprus it is available in Cytavision, Cablenet and Nova Cyprus....

 with special Halloween episodes, and many Halloween theme DCOM like Halloweentown
Halloween town may refer to:*The Halloweentown series:**Halloweentown , a Disney Channel Original Movie released in 1998 and its sequels:***Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, the sequel released in 2001...

 and Harry Potter
Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

On 2011 Greeks were been informed by the media about Halloween on News, due to the high number of calls on 911(100 in Greece), from scared people when a trick or treater knock his door.


In the traditional culture of some regions of Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 there were until the last century traditions very similar to Halloween, i.e. beliefs about nocturnal visiting and processions of dead people, preparation of special biscuits.

Particularly between 1630 and 1640 the Catholic Church carried on a campaign to suppress surviving pagan traditions connected to All Saints' Day and its eve. These feasts vanished completely; until the mid-1970s the festivity was completely unknown by the people, in 1979 just 1 million of people on a population of 57 million declared celebrating Halloween.

Between the 20th and 21st centuries, however, Halloween, not an Italian holiday, was popularized principally by television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 and merchandising
Merchandising is the methods, practices, and operations used to promote and sustain certain categories of commercial activity. In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer...

 coming from United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, including sitcom episodes such as The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

' Treehouse of Horror
Treehouse of Horror
"Treehouse of Horror" is the third episode of The Simpsons second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 25, 1990. The episode was inspired by 1950s horror comics, and begins with a disclaimer that it may be too scary for children. It is the first of a...

 (trick-or-treat's translation as "Dolcetto o Scherzetto", literally treat-or-joke, appeared first in dubbed sitcoms). As a result, in 1989 4 million declared celebrating it, in 1999 7 million and in 2009 10 million, turning Halloween in Italy into a major festivity that outclasses the ancient Catholic ones among Italian children. The actual holiday, November 2nd, All Souls Day, is still celebrated, with each region preparing their traditional plates and customes.

Some children trick-or-treat and are given candy
Candy, specifically sugar candy, is a confection made from a concentrated solution of sugar in water, to which flavorings and colorants are added...

 or fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

, they dress up in various costumes, though most people still do not understand the children's request.
A classic among traditional regional Italian cookies recipes, the Fave dei Morti are typically prepared around the 2nd of November, All Souls' day.
The origin of this recipe goes back to pre-Christian time when fava beans were used as ritual offering to the dead and the gods of the nether world. These delicious cookies are shaped like fava beans and are baked in the Marche region for the festivity of the Giorno dei Morti or All Souls’ day.


In Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 it is a tradition that the kids in Kardjali town gledka go trick-or-treating every year on October 31 at midnight. Their Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, carving jack-o'-lanterns, bonfires, apple bobbing, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.


In Croatia, Halloween wasn't celebrated until recently. In recent years, due to increased popularisation of American TV shows and movies, children go from house to house (or in cities, from flat to flat in apartment buildings) dressed up in costumes. After they knock, they will either say: "Maškare!" or "Časti ili pati!" (Treat us or suffer!). People usually give them candy or coins, but if they don't answer the door or refuse to give them anything, children will usually just walk away, without TP'ing their house or throwing eggs at their door.
Egging refers to the act of throwing eggs at houses, cars, or people. Egging is a criminal offence in most areas. The eggs are usually raw, but are sometimes hard-boiled or expired. This can be considered vandalism....

 Halloween is a work day in Croatia. There is another holiday during which people wear masks in Croatia. It's called poklade (or maškare, mesopust, fašnik, karneval) and people dress up in costumes in many Croatian cities. In the Kvarner region, Zvončari
Zvončari is the characteristic folk custom maintained in the region around Rijeka, Croatia. Itt was added to UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009....

 do that annually. Since wearing masks has become highly popular among children and teenagers in Croatia, e.g. in many Croatian schools, both elementary as well as high schools (gymnasiums and vocational), students will usually wear costumes and masks on both Halloween and Poklade.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Halloween was not celebrated until recently. For the past few years, it has been popular among younger generations. Halloween is a work day in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since wearing masks has become highly popular among children and teenagers, e.g. in many Bosnian schools, both elementary as well as high schools (gymnasiums and vocational), students will usually wear costumes and masks on Halloween.

Canada and United States of America

Halloween is largely celebrated in the same manner between the two countries of Canada and the United States. In the United States, where lingering Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

 tradition restricted the observance of many holidays, Halloween did not become a holiday until the 19th century. American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th centuries do not include Halloween in their lists of holidays. The transatlantic migration of nearly two million Irish following the Irish Potato Famine (1845–1849)
Irish Potato Famine (1845–1849)
In Ireland, the Great Famine was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration between 1845 and 1852. It is also known, mostly outside Ireland, as the Irish Potato Famine...

 finally brought the holiday to the United States. Scottish emigration, primarily to Canada before 1870 and to the United States thereafter, brought the Scottish version of the holiday to each country. The earliest known reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking North America occurs in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Originally a First Nations settlement called "Katarowki," , growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post...

 reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street "guising" on Halloween between 6 and 7 p.m., visiting shops and neighbors to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs.

American librarian and author Ruth Edna Kelley
Ruth Edna Kelley
Ruth Edna Kelley was an American librarian and author. She is chiefly remembered for The Book of Hallowe'en , the first book-length history of the holiday....

 wrote the first book length history of the holiday in the U.S; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter Hallowe'en in America; "All Hallowe'en customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries. The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Burn's
Robert Burns
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide...

 poem Halloween
Halloween (poem)
"Halloween" is a poem written by the Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1785. First published in 1786, the poem is included in the Kilmarnock volume...

as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe'en is out of fashion now". The main event for children and teenagers of modern Halloween in the United States and Canada is trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating or "Guising", is a customary practice for children on Halloween in many countries. Children in costumes travel from house to house in order to ask for treats such as candy with the question "Trick or treat?"...

, in which children, teenagers, (sometimes) young adults, and parents (accompanying their children) disguise themselves in costume
Halloween costume
Halloween costumes are costumes worn on or around Halloween, a festival which falls on October 31. The Halloween costume has a fairly short history. Wearing costumes has long been associated with other holidays around the time of Halloween, even Christmas...

s and go door to door in their neighborhoods, ringing each doorbell and yelling "Trick or treat!" to solicit a gift of candy or similar items.

Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 and Scottish-American
Scottish American
Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage...

 societies held dinners and balls that celebrated their heritages, with perhaps a recitation of Robert Burns
Robert Burns
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide...

' poem Halloween or a telling of Irish legends, much as Columbus Day
Columbus Day
Many countries in the New World and elsewhere celebrate the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, which occurred on October 12, 1492, as an official holiday...

 celebrations were more about Italian-American
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

 heritage than Columbus per se. Home parties centred on children's activities, such as apple bobbing, and various divination
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic standardized process or ritual...

 games often concerning future romance. Not surprisingly, pranks and mischief were common as well.

At the turn of the 20th century, Halloween had turned into a night of vandalism
Vandalism is the behaviour attributed originally to the Vandals, by the Romans, in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable...

, with destruction of property and cruelty to animals and people. Around 1912, the Boy Scouts
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

, Boys Clubs, and other neighborhood organizations came together to encourage a safe celebration that would end the destruction that had become so common on this night. School posters during this time called for a "Sane Halloween." Children began to go door to door, receiving treats, rather than playing tricks on their neighbors. This helped to reduce the mischief, and by the 1930s, "beggar's nights" had become very popular. Trick-or-treating became widespread by the end of the 1930s.

The commercialization of Halloween in the United States did not start until the 20th century, beginning perhaps with Halloween postcards (featuring hundreds of designs), which were most popular between 1905 and 1915. Dennison Manufacturing Company (which published its first Halloween catalog in 1909) and the Beistle Company were pioneers in commercially made Halloween decorations, particularly die-cut paper items. German manufacturers specialised in Halloween figurines that were exported to the United States in the period between the two World Wars.

Mass-produced Halloween costumes did not appear in stores until the 1930s, and trick-or-treating did not become a fixture of the holiday until the 1950s. In the 1990s, many manufacturers began producing a larger variety of Halloween yard decorations; before this, the majority of decorations were homemade. Some of the most popular yard decorations are jack-o'-lantern
A jack-o'-lantern is typically a carved pumpkin. It is associated chiefly with the holiday of Halloween and was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o'-lantern...

s, scarecrow
A scarecrow is, essentially, a decoy, though traditionally, a human figure dressed in old clothes and placed in fields by farmers to discourage birds such as crows or sparrows from disturbing and feeding on recently cast seed and growing crops.-History:In Kojiki, the oldest surviving book in Japan...

s, witches, orange string lights, inflatable decorations such as spiders, pumpkins, mummies and vampires, and animatronic window and door decorations. Other popular decorations are foam tombstones and gargoyle
In architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque, usually made of granite, with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between...


Halloween is now the United States' second most popular holiday (after Christmas) for decorating; the sale of candy and costumes is also extremely common during the holiday, which is marketed to children and adults alike. The National Confectioners Association
National Confectioners Association
Founded in 1884 in Chicago by representatives of 69 confectionery manufacturing firms, the National Confectioners Association is one of the oldest trade associations in the world. It is currently based in Washington, DC....

 (NCA) reported in 2005 that 80 percent of American adults planned to give out candy to trick-or-treaters.
The NCA reported in 2005 that 93 percent of children planned to go trick-or-treating. According to the National Retail Federation
National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association. Its members include department store, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, and independent retailers, and chain restaurants and grocery stores. Members also include businesses that provide goods and services to...

, the most popular Halloween costume themes for adults are, in order: witch, pirate, vampire, cat, and clown. Each year, popular costumes are dictated by various current events and pop culture icons. On many college campuses, Halloween is a major celebration, with the Friday and Saturday nearest October 31 hosting many costume parties.

Trick-or-treating may often end by early evening, but the nightlife thrives in many urban areas. Halloween costume parties provide an opportunity for adults to gather and socialize; some even wielding Halloweens' costume party power for charity benefits. Urban bars are frequented by people wearing Halloween masks and risqué costumes. Many bars and restaurants hold costume contests to attract customers to their establishments. Haunted house
Haunted house
A haunted house is a house or other building often perceived as being inhabited by disembodied spirits of the deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property...

s are also popular in some areas. Fireworks displays are also held at Disneyland (as of 2009) and at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom Park is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort located near Orlando, Florida. The first park built at the resort, Magic Kingdom opened Oct. 1, 1971. Designed and built by WED Enterprises, the park's layout and attractions are similar to Disneyland in Anaheim, California...

 during an event at that park called Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a separate-admission Halloween-themed event held annually during the months of September and October at the Magic Kingdom theme park of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, outside Orlando, and at Disneyland Paris Resort outside Paris,...

, in which the fireworks are titled HalloWishes
HalloWishes is a fireworks show that takes place during "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park...


Those living in the country may hold Halloween parties, often with bonfires, with the celebrants passing between them. The parties usually involve traditional games (like snipe hunt
Snipe hunt
A snipe hunt, a form of wild-goose chase that is also known as a fool's errand, is a type of practical joke that involves experienced people making fun of credulous newcomers by giving them an impossible or imaginary task...

ing, bobbing for apples, or searching for candy in a similar manner to Easter egg hunting), haunted hayrides (often accompanied by scary stories, and costumed people hiding in the dark to jump out and scare the riders), and treats (usually a bag of candy and/or homemade treats). Scary movies may also be viewed. Normally, the children are picked up by their parents at predetermined times. However, it is not uncommon for such parties to include sleepovers.

City parades

Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

, home of the University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

, hosts one of the more infamous annual Halloween celebrations
State Street Halloween Party
The State Street Halloween Party is an annual Halloween party in Madison, Wisconsin.State Street has gained recognition as a gathering place for tens of thousands of party-goers from several states on Halloween...

. Due to the large influx of out-of-towners crowding the State Street area, riots have broken out in recent years, resulting in the use of mounted police and tear gas to disperse the crowds. Likewise, Chapel Hill, NC, site of the University of North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States...

, has a notorious downtown street party
Halloween on Franklin Street
Halloween on Franklin Street is a yearly tradition in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that encompasses a massive gathering on Franklin Street, the cultural hub of the town. The Halloween celebration began in the early 1980’s as a considerably smaller event, involving Chapel Hill residents and college...

 which in 2007 drew a crowd estimated at 80,000 on downtown Franklin Street, in a town with a population of just 54,000. In 2008, in an effort to curb the influx of out-of-towners, mayor Kevin Foy
Kevin Foy
Kevin C. Foy was the mayor of Chapel Hill, North Carolina from 2001-2009.During his eight years in office, Foy focused on policies that have transformed Chapel Hill into a vibrant mid-sized city. Chief among these is a fare-free transit system...

 emplaced measures to make commuting downtown more difficult on Halloween.

Anoka, Minnesota
Anoka, Minnesota
At the 2000 census, there were 18,076 people, 7,262 households and 4,408 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,709.0 per square mile . There were 7,398 housing units at an average density of 1,108.7 per square mile...

, the self-proclaimed "Halloween Capital of the World", celebrates the holiday with a large civic parade
A parade is a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume, and often accompanied by marching bands, floats or sometimes large balloons. Parades are held for a wide range of reasons, but are usually celebrations of some kind...

 and several other city-wide events. Salem, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts
Salem is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 40,407 at the 2000 census. It and Lawrence are the county seats of Essex County...

, also has laid claim to the "Halloween Capital" title, while trying to dissociate itself from its history of persecuting witchcraft
Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...

. At the same time, however, the city does see a great deal of tourism surrounding the Salem witch trials
Salem witch trials
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before county court trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693...

, especially around Halloween. In the 1990s, the city added an official "Haunted Happenings" celebration to the October tourist season. Nearby Keene, New Hampshire
Keene, New Hampshire
Keene is a city in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 23,409 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Cheshire County.Keene is home to Keene State College and Antioch University New England, and hosts the annual Pumpkin Fest...

, hosts the annual Pumpkin Fest
Pumpkin Fest
The Keene Pumpkin Festival is a yearly celebration held in Keene, New Hampshire, United States around Halloween...

 each October which previously held the record for having the greatest number of lit jack-o'-lantern
A jack-o'-lantern is typically a carved pumpkin. It is associated chiefly with the holiday of Halloween and was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o'-lantern...

s at once. (Boston, Massachusetts holds the record as of October 2006).

New York City hosts the United States' largest Halloween celebration, known as The Village Halloween Parade
New York's Village Halloween Parade
New York's Village Halloween Parade is an annual holiday parade and street pageant presented the night of every Halloween in New York City’s Greenwich Village...

. Started by Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village, , , , .in New York often simply called "the Village", is a largely residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City. A large majority of the district is home to upper middle class families...

 mask maker Ralph Lee
Ralph Lee
Ralph Lee makes work centered on the mask, both its design and use in theatrical performance. Most of the theater events he creates take place outside traditional performance venues. These include parades, pageants, seasonal celebrations and outdoor theatrical performances. Masks and giant puppets...

 in 1973, the evening parade now attracts over two million spectators and participants, as well as roughly four million television viewers annually. Barbara Ehrenreich
Barbara Ehrenreich
-Early life:Ehrenreich was born Barbara Alexander to Isabelle Oxley and Ben Howes Alexander in Butte, Montana, which she describes as then being "a bustling, brawling, blue collar mining town."...

, in her book on collective joy
Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy
Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy is a book authored by Barbara Ehrenreich.The author coins the term "collective joy" to describe group events which involve music, synchronized movement, costumes, and a feeling of loss of self...

 mentions this as an example of how Halloween is transitioning from a children's holiday to an adult holiday and compares it to Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
The terms "Mardi Gras" , "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday...


Rutland, Vermont has hosted the annual Rutland Halloween Parade
Rutland Halloween Parade
The Rutland Halloween Parade is an annual event held on Halloween in the city of Rutland, Vermont, since 1960. The parade has a strong superhero theme and has been the setting for a number of comic book adventures...

 since 1960. Tom Fagan, a local comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 fan, is credited with having a hand in the parade's early development and superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

 theme. In the early 1970s, the Rutland Halloween Parade achieved a degree of fame when it was used as the setting of a number of superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

 comic books, including Batman #237, Justice League of America #103, Amazing Adventures #16 and The Mighty Thor #207.


In Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Halloween has been celebrated since roughly 1960. There, celebrations have been influenced by the American traditions, such as the costuming of children who visit the houses of their neighborhood in search of candy. Though the "trick-or-treat" motif is used, tricks are not generally played on residents not providing candy. Older crowds of preteens, teenagers and adults will sometimes organize Halloween-themed parties, which might be scheduled on the nearest available weekend. Usually kids stop by at peoples' houses, knock on their door or the ring the bell and say "¡Noche de Brujas, Halloween!" ('Witches' Night, Halloween!') or "¡Queremos Haloween!" (We want Halloween!). The second phrase is more commonly used among children, the affirmation of "We want Halloween" means "We want candy", similarly "Me da mi calaverita
The word calavera, Spanish for "skull", can refer to a number of cultural phenomena associated with the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead and the Roman Catholic holiday All Souls Day....

" means "Give me my little candy skull".

Halloween in Mexico begins three days of consecutive holidays, as it is followed by All Saints' Day, which also marks the beginning of the two day celebration of the Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in many cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality...

 or the Día de los Muertos. This might account for the initial explanations of the holiday having a traditional Mexican-Catholic slant.


Despite many American media influences (including television sit-coms and The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

 Treehouse of Horror
Treehouse of Horror
"Treehouse of Horror" is the third episode of The Simpsons second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 25, 1990. The episode was inspired by 1950s horror comics, and begins with a disclaimer that it may be too scary for children. It is the first of a...

and its sequels), and some commercial promotion, Halloween is frowned upon by many people due to its having little relevance to Australian culture. It is also considered by some to be an unwanted American influence. In 2006, costume shops reported a rise in sales on Halloween-themed costumes, on October 31, 2006 and have reported a steady increase on October 31, 2007. On Halloween night private parties are more commonly held than actual "trick-or-treating"; however, both are still observed.

Saint Helena

In Saint Helena
Saint Helena
Saint Helena , named after St Helena of Constantinople, is an island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha which also includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha...

, Halloween is actively celebrated, largely along the American model, with ghosts, skeletons, devils, vampires, witches and the like. Imitation pumpkins are used instead of real pumpkins because the pumpkin harvesting season in Saint Helena's hemisphere is not near Halloween. Trick-or-treating is widespread. Party venues provide entertainment for adults.

Central and South America

In parts of Central
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, kids will pay a visit to their neighbors and yell "¡Dulce o Truco!" ('Sweet or Trick!') in order to get candy, while in Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 kids yell "Travessuras ou gostosuras!". In Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Halloween has become more and popular over the last 20 years, imitating North American customs such as children dressing up, going house to house asking for candy, yelling "¡Dulce o travesura!", whereas teenagers and adults go to costume parties at discotheques. The Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 name for Halloween is Noche de Brujas (Night of the Witches), and the Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 name is Dia das Bruxas.


In Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 Halloween is celebrated widely and in the fashion of the United States' celebration. Children dress up and visit their neighbours chanting "¡Triqui triqui halloween, Quiero dulces para mi, Si no hay dulces para mi, Se le crece la nariz!" (Tricky tricky halloween, I want candy for me, If there is no candy for me, Your nose will grow!) There is no cultural precedent for the celebration of Halloween and the current festivities are the result of the influence of American culture and commercial interests. Notably, the chant commences with "Triqui triqui", a rough transliteration of "trick or treat", words which have no meaning in Spanish. The images and symbols commonly associated with Halloween (witches, skeletons, spider webs, pumpkins and so on) are faithfully represented in Colombian Halloween celebrations.

Recently the Catholic Church has expressed its concerns over the celebration of a day in which ghosts, goblins, witches and other expressions of evil are linked to the happiness of children. In recent years there has been a concerted push to change the celebration of Halloween to the celebration of Children's Day, in which costumes and sweets would still be present, but the sinister side of the event would be suppressed. Although there is increased use of "Children´s Day", "Halloween" is by far the word used for the celebration, not only because the latter name is far more famous, but because there is already a Children's Day celebrated in Colombia on April's last Saturday.


Halloween arrived only recently in Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, mainly in the context of American pop culture. Western-style Halloween decorations such as jack-o'-lantern
A jack-o'-lantern is typically a carved pumpkin. It is associated chiefly with the holiday of Halloween and was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o'-lantern...

s can be seen in many locations, and places such as Tokyo Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland
is a 115 acre theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, near Tokyo. Its main gate is directly adjacent to both Maihama Station and Tokyo Disneyland Station. It was the first Disney park to be built outside of the United States and opened on April 15, 1983...

 and Universal Studios Japan
Universal Studios Japan
, located in Osaka, is one of four Universal Studios theme parks, owned and operated by USJ Co., Ltd. . The park is similar to Universal Orlando Resort, since it contains many of the same rides. Most visitors are Japanese tourists or tourists from other Asian countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong,...

 put on special Halloween events. The wearing of costume
The term costume can refer to wardrobe and dress in general, or to the distinctive style of dress of a particular people, class, or period. Costume may also refer to the artistic arrangement of accessories in a picture, statue, poem, or play, appropriate to the time, place, or other circumstances...

s is mostly limited to private home parties, day care centers and kindergartens, as well as in larger cities at bars frequented or run by foreigners. On a national scale trick-or-treating
Trick-or-treating or "Guising", is a customary practice for children on Halloween in many countries. Children in costumes travel from house to house in order to ask for treats such as candy with the question "Trick or treat?"...

 is largely unpracticed, although themed snacks like pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soup is a soup made from a puree of pumpkin. It is made by combining the meat of a blended pumpkin with broth or stock. It can be served hot or cold, and is a popular Thanksgiving dish in the United States. Pumpkin soup was a staple for the prisoners of war in North Vietnamese prison camps...

 flavored corn puffs
Cheese puffs
Cheese puffs, cheese curls, cheese balls, or corn curls are a puffed corn snack, coated with a mixture of cheese or cheese-flavored powders...

 are available.http://www.meiji.co.jp/sweets/snack/karl/

Hong Kong

Halloween in Hong Kong has two traditions. The first involves the event called "Yue Lan
Ghost Festival
The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday celebrated by Chinese in many countries...

" (Festival of the Hungry Ghosts). Its emphasis is less on celebration, rather it is an opportunity to give gifts to spirits of the dead to provide comfort and ward them off.

The second and more commercialized event is celebrated by expatriate Americans or Canadians. Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland is located on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island. It is the first theme park located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and is owned and managed by the Hong Kong International Theme Parks. The park opened to visitors on 12 September 2005...

 and Ocean Park
Ocean Park Hong Kong
Ocean Park Hong Kong , commonly known as Ocean Park, is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and amusement park, situated in Wong Chuk Hang and Nam Long Shan in the Southern District of Hong Kong. Founded in 1977 by the then Governor of Hong Kong Sir Murray MacLehose, Ocean Park has...

 (Halloween Bash) host annual Halloween shows. Lan Kwai Fong bars will be decked out with Halloween decorations to lure ex-pats and locals interest in Halloween.

While trick or treating is not as commonly celebrated in Hong Kong, there are events at Tsim Sha Tsui's Avenue of the Stars that try to mimic the celebration.


Filipinos celebrate Halloween on a largely commercial level, as it is overshadowed by the traditional keeping of Undás/Araw ng mga Patay (Day of the Dead), or All Saints' and All Souls' Days. Halloween is limited to pockets of Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

 and other urban and suburban areas, as many people people return to home provinces
Provinces of the Philippines
The Provinces of the Philippines are the primary political and administrative divisions of the Philippines. There are 80 provinces at present, further subdivided into component cities and municipalities. The National Capital Region, as well as independent cities, are autonomous from any provincial...

 to visit and clean the graves of deceased loved ones. October 31 is by default not a public holiday
Public holiday
A public holiday, national holiday or legal holiday is a holiday generally established by law and is usually a non-working day during the year....

 unless the Office of the President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 declares otherwise, usually to allow for a long weekend in deference to Undás.

The prevalence of Western media helped spread the celebration of Halloween, particularly the custom of dressing in costume and trick-or-treating, beginning in the 1960s. Its popularity has steadily risen over the decades, becoming even more commercialised in the 1980s. Seasonal decorations and costumes are now widely available, while horror-themed marketing, films, and television programmes are commonplace.

Themed Halloween parties are popular among the younger generations, and more Westernised residential communities organise annual trick-or-treating events, as have malls, hotels, and schools. Trick-or treating in particular has largely replaced Pangangaluluwà, the local version of the old English custom of souling. The dying tradition had Filipino children singing carols about the souls in Purgatory
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

 and asking for abúloy (alms for the deceased) to pay for Masses for the dead. Along with the requested alms, householders sometimes gave the children súman
Suman (food)
Suman is a rice cake originating from the Philippines. It is made from glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, and often steamed in banana leaves. It is served wrapped in buli or buri palm leaves and usually eaten sprinkled with sugar...

(rice cake). The carollers would also be allowed to steal sundry items from homes they visited, such as clothes from clotheslines, eggs, vegetables, and fruits. The householders would explain away the thefts as caused by the spirits returning to the world of the living.
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