Halloween Traditions Around The World

The spooktacular month is still with us, and we couldn't be happier. Whether you're indulging on pumpkin spice lattes or candy corn is your kind of thing, we're all food satisfied (as long as there's Gookie Dough). So, what is Halloween like around the world? Where did it all come from and what celebrations are involved? Find out right here!

(Image credit: My Recipes) 

Where did it start? 

The tradition stemmed from Ireland, and it's celebrated as madly there as America. Bonfires were lit centuries ago all over the country and children would dress up and spend time trick-or-treating. Games were played including 'snap apple' which is where an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree, and you have to attempt to bite the hanging apple (a bit like apple bobbing). Parents would often do treasure hunts with candy, and the Irish would play a card game where cards are face down with candy or coins underneath them, and you choose a card and win the prize underneath it. 

Food that was popular at the time was barnbrack which is a fruitcake that can be bought or baked at home. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside of the cake, and it can 'tell the future'. If a ring is found, the person will marry, if a piece of straw then a good year is on the way. 

In Belgium 

Belgians believe that black cats are unlucky and should never cross your path. On Halloween night, people light candles in memory of their dead relatives. 

In Hong Kong 

Halloween is known as 'Yue Lan' in Hong Kong which means the festival of hungry ghosts. It is believed that spirits roam the world for these 24 hours. Some people will burn pictures of fruit or money in the hope that it will bring comfort to ghosts. Fires are lit, and food and gifts are offered to angry spirits who may seek revenge. 

(Image credit: The Cake Blog) 

In Sweden

In Sweden, Halloween is celebrated from October 31st till November 6th. Halloween also has an eve which is celebrated or becomes a shortened working day. 

In Germany 

Germans tend to put away their knives on Halloween night because they don't want to risk harm to or from returning spirits.  

In Korea 

There is a festival similar to Halloween which is called 'Chusok'. Families will thank their ancestors for the fruits of their labour and will pay respect to them by visiting graves. However, this takes place in August. 

Spooked enough? Where would you rather live during Halloween? We'll stick to dressing up like a skeleton and munching on Gookie Dough!  *Facts adapted from pumpkinpatchesandmore.org*