Does the Rest of the World Trick-or-Treat?

October 31, 2011
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While much of the Western world has shed the religious associations of Halloween in favor of focusing on pranks, costumes and copious amounts of candy, as you travel around the globe you can find a number of fascinating ways to celebrate one of the world’s oldest holidays.

If you happen to be traveling to Peru on October 31, you can dress up like your favorite ghoul for a traditional celebration. But if you really want to mingle with the locals, hit the bar scene to celebrate “El Día de la Canción Criolla” — the Peruvian "Day of Creole Music." A modern tradition, El Día de la Canción Criolla was started back in 1944, when the government backed a special day celebrating “Criolla.” This popular Peruvian music combines African, Spanish and other influences.

In Hong Kong, the Halloween celebration is known as "Yue Lan" — festival of the hungry ghosts. Locals believe that the spirits roam our world for 24 hours, and burn fruit or money to bring comfort to the ghosts. Of course, in this economy, we hope it’s fake money!

India celebrates Mahalaya, a religious ritual believed to awaken dead spirits. Mahalaya is an auspicious occasion observed seven days before the Durga Puja, and heralds the advent of Durga, the goddess of supreme power. It's an invitation using mantras and devotional songs to bring the spirit to Earth. Following Mahalaya, the Indian people believe souls go back to a peaceful rest for the remainder of the year.

What are the most interesting Halloween traditions you’ve experienced?


Image via Wikimedia