Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the United States, with nearly a quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. purchased for Halloween, according to History.com.
CCTV America Digital Team takes a look at Halloween celebrations here in Washington.
DC Halloween 2015 Costume ShowcaseCCTV America Digital Team takes a look at Halloween celebrations here in Washington.
As one of the world’s oldest holidays, Halloween can be traced to an ancient Celtic pagan festival known as “Samhain,” which was celebrated over 2,000 years ago.
Track the evolution of Halloween over time:
But Halloween isn’t just an American tradition – similar holidays are celebrated across the globe. Here’s how people around the world celebrate their version of Halloween:
Europe: Ireland, England, Germany
In Ireland, where Halloween originated, people celebrate the holiday by lighting bonfires, dressing in costumes, and trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods. Here are some more notable Irish Halloween traditions:
In England, some call Halloween “Mischief Night.” It’s also known as “Nutcracker Night” or “Snap Apple Night,” according to jackolanterns.net.
The tradition of “souling” also original in the United Kingdom and is a version of “trick or treating.” Children would go door to door, singing songs and saying prayers for the dead in return for sould cakes or money, according to Nicholas Rogers in his book “Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night.”
Churches in England also celebrate All Souls Day on Nov. 2 which is dedicated to souls who are still in purgatory. At night, households burn candles that they believe will help guide souls back to their home. They’ll also leave a glass of wine on the table for refreshment for the souls.
Halloween celebrations have also become increasingly popular.
Halloween celebrations are somewhat new in Germany. It was not generally observed in the country prior to the 1990s, but has been increasing in popularity.
Germans celebrate Halloween as All Saints Day from Oct. 30 to Nov. 8 in southern Germany. Children continue to celebrate St. Martin’s Day on Nov. 11, when they walk around their neighborhood with lanterns, singing songs, and reciting poems in exchange for treats, wrote Nicolette Stewart.
Germans also hide their knives on Halloween night to prevent harm from returning spirits.
North America: Canada
Scottish immigrants brought the Scottish version of Halloween, celebrated on Oct. 31, to Canada.
According to Rogers, the earliest known reference to the ritual begging during Halloween took place in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street “guising” on Halloween between 6-7 p.m., visiting shops and neighbors to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs.
Halloween is also a time for charitable contributions. Up until 2006, when UNICEF moved to an online donation system, collecting small change for was big part of Canadian trick-or-treating, according to Marika McKenzie.
Interesting fact: In 2014 the hamlet of Arviat, Nunavut moved their Halloween festivities to a community hall, canceling the practice of door-to-door trick or treating due to the risk of roaming polar bears, as CBS News reported.
South America: Brazil, Mexico and Latin America
Halloween is not a Brazilian holiday, but in Rio de Jainero, Halloween parties can be found in most of the restaurants, bars, and clubs. Some Brazilians also leave a basin and towel on the street so the spirits can clean themselves.
Mexico and Latin America
Among some Spanish-speaking nations, Halloween is known as “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) or All Souls’ Day, and is celebrated from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
The holiday is embraced across Mexico, even in the smallest of villages and is meant to remember the deceased who are believed to return to their homes on Halloween. Families and friends visit the graves of relatives. There will be skull-shape candies, music, dancing, and parades.
Asia: China, Japan, and Korea
Australia and New Zealand
Halloween is becoming more popular, especially among the young, in Australia and New Zealand.
Businesses sell holiday-themed products while some organizations hold fundraising activities. Trick-or-treat adventures, costumes, and Halloween parties are also part of the celebrations.
According to jackolanterns.net, the village of Igbo, Nigeria celebrates the “Odo Festival” which marks the return the the odo, or the dead. People make different masks for the spirits to return and dwell with the living. They are allowed to roam the earth for six months before returning to their graves for two years, according to crowdersentry.com.