Weird Halloween Celebrations
In a few months we are going to celebrate Halloween, commonly known as All Soul’s Day for other countries. Some celebrate it in a weird and strange traditions, but in big countries like United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, it’s a grand celebration. In some big cities or towns, they celebrate the feast of remembering the dead or called Halloween that falls in the 31st of October,by wearing scary masks, or even funny characters, witches, nymphs and other freaky or weird characters. The Jack-O-Lantern originated in Ireland, where people carved turnips, potatoes to cast away the ‘evil spirits’ and ‘ghosts’ on the Samhain Holiday.
1)Welsh and Celtics
The Welsh and Celtics, believed that the soul of the dead relatives visit their living love ones every 31st of October, thus we celebrate All Souls Day. The Celtics wear masks and costumes so the spirit of their loved ones cannot recognize them.
2) The Day of the Dead (El Dia De Los Muertos)
Yunuen is an Island in Lago Patzcuaro, Michoacan. The sand tapestry of skeletons, is one of the traditional manner of celebrating Day of the Dead, and made od pastries of colored sands. The Day of the Dead Sand Tapestries in Oaxaca, also called “Tapetes de Arena”, are the mortuary traditions and customs of the Oaxacan people. Altars are set up in every home for the Day of the Dead, and offerings include candles, fruits, flowers, and special bread called, “Pan de Muertos”.
3) Teng Chieh or Halloween in China
Teng Chieh or Chinese Halloween, is celebrated from the first week of July, the Lunar Calendar up to July 14. The Chinese people believed that in two weeks time, the underworld gate will open. They believe that the spirit or souls are wandering around and looking for substitute so they could go back to the living world again. During Teng Chieh celebration, food and water are offered in front of the pictures of dead relatives. They lit the lanterns so the spirit could see the the path returning to earth. This celebration is also called, “The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts”.
4) Kawazaki, Japan Halloween Festival
Some people in Japan celebrate the “O-Bon” Festival every 13th to 15th of July, but some celebrate it on October 13th to 15th. O-bon got its name from the Sanskrit word of ‘hang up and down’, referring to the legend of a Buddhist Monk. During O-Bon, the Japanese decorate the grave of their dead relatives with fruits, cakes and lanterns. The community gather for the Bon-odori, a slow-hypnotic dance and on the evening they set lanterns to float on the river and see omiyage gently light the spirits back to the other world. The Japanese Buddhist remember the dead during Autumn of equal days and night, and the festival is called Higan.
5) Zombie Festival, Melbourne, Australia
6) Halloween In United States/ Trick-or-Treat
Celebrating Halloween is a widely and common celebration in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Canada and the Northwest and Central Mexico. The practice or tradition of going door-to-door, receiving food are also practiced in Britain and Ireland where children and other people say prayers and sing for the dead in exchange of bread or cakes, and called ‘souling’.
In Guatemala, the people prepare effigy of a Devil and burn it on night time celebration with the belief of casting away bad spirits and demons.
Halloween/Feast of the Dead in Malaysia
The Ghosts Festival or “Koh Tai”, is celebrated by performing singers and dancers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Chinese (Hokkien) residents, funded the said affair.
The Chinese-Malay set an altar in their homes or graves of dead relatives, dedicated to three Pure Land Sages, Avalokitesvara and Sathya Sai Baba. The Altar consists of glass filled with rice, place at the left side of the altar, and Jossticks are stuck and lit incense after ‘inviting’ the ancestors to join the offering of foods prepared for the ‘Hungry Ghosts festival prayers.
9) Ghosts Festival In Penang, Malaysia
The feast of the ‘Hungry Ghosts’ in Penang, Malaysia is celebrated on the 15th day of the Lunar Calendar, and the 7th month in Sunagi Bakap Kee Kongsi, not far from Penang and in Pulau Tikus Market in Penang.
The Wayang opera, performed by the Chinese-Malay artists and offered to the hungry souls and dead relatives.
9) Vu Lan in Vietnam (All Souls Day/Mother’s Day Festival)
Vu Lan in Vietnam is the feasts of the dead, and weird becuase they also celebrate Mother’s Day in this country. Vu Lan or Ullambana Festival also known as Amnesty of Unquiet Spirit held every 7th month of the Lunar Calendar, believed to be the spirit month. Ullambana or Bon festival the Feast of All Souls in Mahayana Buddhism celebrated on the 7th full moon of the Lunar calendar in many Asian cultures as a way of honoring the dead.
10) Lantern Festival in Singapore/ Halloween Festival
Lantern Festival also called “Shang Yuan Festival”, because it falls on the full moon night. In China, Lantern festival also known Teng Chieh, marking the end of the Chinese New Year and beginning of a religious rituals and symbol of the lengthening days of Spring. Different kinds of lanterns in various sizes, shapes and designs are hung outside the temples and homes.
11) Yama, Hindu God of the Dead
Yama, in Hindu also called Yamanaja in India, Yamano in South Korea, Shinje in Tibet, Yanluowang or simply Yan in China, Enma Dai in Japan, is the Lord of Death.
12) Halloween in Russia
In Russia, the blue cat brings good luck . Blue cats such as Russian Blue cat, British Blue Burmese cat and Burmese cats. Black cats brings bad luck especially if the black cat cross your path.
13)United Kingdom Halloween Festival
In Britain or any part of United Kingdom they believe that black cats brings good luck to every home during Halloween celebration; and also practice the trick-or-treat; knocking door to door.
14)Catrinas on Day of the Dead Festival, Mexico
This popular image of Catrinas are most famous in the celebration of the Feast of the Dead. Some set their altars in their homes and grave of their loved ones, offering candles, flowers, fruits and “pan de muertos”.
15)Zaduski, All Souls Day in Poland
Visiting graveyards and lighting Candles, offering flowers and prayers for the dead relatives and attend the requiem mass for the souls.
16) Odo Festival, Igbo Nigeria (All Souls Day)
Owls are said to bring Bad news or death messages, and owls are killed in this country. But Some people try to save this owls, and try to change the beliefs in Africa.
All Souls Day in Igbo, Nigeria or Odo Festival, mark the return of Odo (dead) to their living friends and relatives. The festival observed rituals and feast to welcome the spirit of the dead and returning to the world of spirits. Some souls stay from 6 months or more here on earth (this is their beliefs), and when the souls departed it would be an emotional affair because they will not “visit” again in two years.
17)Halloween Festival , Trick-or-Treat Sweden
18) Chuseok Festival (Hangawi Festival) Korea
Chuseok festival or Hangawi festival in Korea celebrated together with the Korean Autumn festival called Chrysanthemum festival. It is the traditional Harvest festival in Korea, which they celebrate for three days on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar calendar. On October 3 the Chuseok festival they will organize mass at Korean towns for the ancestral souls and prepare the traditonal rice cakes called “Songpyeon”, bulgogi (beef strips steak) and japachee (rice noodles with vegetables and fruits).
19) All Souls Day, Philippines (Undas)
Starting October 30, people from the Philippines are all busy preparing foods, cleaning the graves of the dead relatives, offering requiem mass, buying candles. Some stay at the cemetery from October 31 until November 1, and time to see relatives from far away places and held a reunion for the whole family. Some build tents and set tables, gambling and singing, sharing foods and drinks.
20)Feast of the Dead Xico, Jalapa Mexico
Indonesia celebrate Halloween especially in big cities like Bandung, Surabaya, Denpasar, Medan and Jakarta organize by som Christian community, Consuls and other Diplomats staying in Indonesia.