Halloween is not a typical French holiday. It began to get popular in the 1990’s when young French hipsters started to have costume parties on October 31st. Bars and restaurants followed the new trend.
Halloween is a fun way for French kids to learn English! Candy is a motivation to help kids practice, too! The 31st is usually during mid-season school break, so trick or treat outgoings are really organized. Even though some neighborhoods in France practice trick or treating, it hasn’t become a part of the French Tradition just yet.
The word “trick” hasn’t become a tradition either so far. The French aren’t really motivated to egg houses, or clean toilet paper off their property.
French kids don't necessarily understand that Halloween costumes don’t always have to be scary. You usually wouldn’t see any princesses or superheroes, there would mainly be zombies, ghosts, vampires, etc. Although French love costumes parties, they mainly hold them during New Year’s Eve, Birthdays, etc. Even the grownups join in on the fun.
Despite the French celebrate bits and pieces of Halloween, it is still a foreign holiday. Usually, in the big cities there are celebrations, but in the smaller countrysides/cities there's aren't as many parties or trick-or-treaters.
The kids especially enjoy participating, because it means free candy. Some kids even know the American tradition, and Catchphrase in English!
Even though France celebrates Halloween, they are still learning some of the traditions. If you would like to learn more about French Halloween, click this link!: Halloween In France
Foreign Teachers in China have introduced the tradition of Halloween to many students and families, other than that Halloween isn’t well known.
The concept of Halloween mainly entered China through foreign teachers and Western expats. Some foreign teachers might throw a Halloween party or teach a lesson on the holiday. In result, their students decorate their homes for October 31st and receive Halloween candy, but small amounts of Chinese don’t do much for it unless they have foreign friends who celebrate the holiday.
In China, Halloween is a party day in “expat oriented bars” and restaurants, where a lot of “expats” live such as “Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.” Bars who serve foreign customers will often decorate for the holiday with black cats, ghosts, monsters, Halloween lanterns, etc., there might also be masquerade parties!
Hong Kong’s two major theme parks Ocean Park and Disney Land have activities to celebrate October 31st, such as masquerades, haunted houses, movies, etc., but be careful people in costume might give you a fright!
f you would like to learn more about Chinese Halloween click this link!: Halloween In China
Italy celebrates a holiday called Carnevale, it is very similar to Halloween. Italy was introduced to Halloween from U.S. films, T.V., Pop Culture, and more! The tradition started off with the old-fashioned trick-or-treating part of the tradition.
Halloween is starting to “throw some controversy over Italy’s All Satins and All Souls Day, on November 1st and 2nd respectively, and many worry about the fact that it may turn what is supposed to be a time to remember the dead with love and cherish, into yet another occasion to party” sited by Halloween In Italy.
“Celts as Samhain/Souls of the dead”, has been here since before Christ was born, “witness to the holy necessity to remember and love those who are no longer physically with us.” -Halloween In Germany
Germany has been celebrating Halloween for 25 years, although the phrase “Trick-or-Treat” angers the Germans! Many Germans are not happy with the growth of American Halloween in Germany, some areas decorate, sell costumes, have parties, and sell candy!
Although Germany does not like the American Halloween way, they have a tradition of their own. The Movie Park Horror Fest has been going on for 20 years, including 2018, this is an annual event located north of Essen. They also have the Mayen Market “Festival Of Magic”, which includes a parade, pumpkin carving, costumes, and beer, this is all in the Eifel region. LEGOLAND has recently made its way into the tradition too. LEGOLAND became a Halloween event, where children dress up in costumes and receive free park admission. October 31st may be different in Germany, but it is still quite enjoyable!
THE UNITED KINGDOM
The United Kingdom celebrates Halloween practically the exact same way as America does. They throw parties where hosts and guests dress up, have pumpkins, spiders, and bats as their common symbols, similar to us. Although Halloween is not a public holiday, which means businesses have their regular work hours, that’s how it is in the U.S. too.
People often gather for parties, horror movies, trick-or-treating, and many more activities. Houses that don’t pass candy out may also find a special little trick pulled on them! The origins of Halloween are in Pagan festivals in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Just like here many restaurants and businesses take advantage of Halloween to create cool holiday-themed treats and toys.
The U.K. also believes that the end of October is when spirits of the dead come alive and walk around casually. The reason for costumes is they believe if they dress up as the dead then there will be no harm towards them. In Puritan times, Halloween was prohibited and outlawed, they eventually revised the law as time went on.
Do you recognize the name “All Hallows Eve”, well if not that was Halloweens old name in the U.K, it was also known as “the day before All Saints Day”, and “Nut Crack Night”, “Thump The Door”, “Apple and Candy Night”, “Bob Apple Night”, “Duck Apple Night”, and many others.
If you would like to know more about the U.K.’s Halloween traditions, click on this link: Halloween In The United Kingdom
Many countries have similar Halloween traditions to America, but ours have a special meaning to it, that possibly only we would understand! It is interesting how different countries have different traditions for holidays.
Story by Amelia O’Halloran