By Hector Flores
Halloween is a Celtic holiday that takes place on the night of October 31st, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries like Canada, the United States, Ireland or the United Kingdom. His name is a contraction of All Hallows' Eve. This celebration extends to some other countries that celebrate this event, according to the local rites and traditions.
Canada and United States: Kids and adults to wear costumes and masks. Children get candies door-to-door, using the well-known "Trick or Treat". Adults usually celebrate costume parties. In many places,there are even special events and festivals of horror.
Great Britain: In this country,Halloween is almost an exclusive celebration for children where, above all, the gastronomic aspect has more importance. Lately, the Harry Potter franchise has an important role. Some people gather in Celtic sacred places to recreate ancient rituals.
Ireland:There´s an agenda of events throughout the country including horseback riding, bonfires, fireworks and, of course, a multitude of costumes. There’s a typical drink called Lamb's Woos, made of apples, roasted with milk and beer. Within the culinary traditions there´s the “Barm Brack”, a typical sweet which hides a ring, a coin, a toothpick and a pea inside: If you find the ring you will marry this year, but if you find the pea, there will be no wedding. The stick represents problems in the marriage, the coin means fortune and economic prosperity.
Germany: It is an increasingly popular holiday in which people take advantage to party and disguise. It is tradition to make dinner and party with friends and family while the children go get goodies. A typical German tradition is to keep their knives away that night because they don´t want to hurt the returning spirits.
Mexico and Latin America: Even though most countries in Latin America have adopted Halloween in a very similar way as the United Statesand Canada, they have their own tradition, the day of the dead. This is a holiday celebrated throughout the Americas, but Mexico has the biggest celebrationsand combines ancient Indigenous traditions and modern fanfare. It’s a whimsical and yet serious holiday that primarily takes place between October 31st and November 2nd. The ancient belief was that within those dates, the dead are allowed to visit their living loved ones that receive them with food, music and colorful decorations. This tradition celebrates death with colourand joy as an important part of life.
Halloween is an ancient tradition that has evolved to become an international celebration with very particular variations and interpretations around the world. No matter the nationality or cultural background, given the ludicrous nature of modern celebrations, it is one of the favoriteeventsof most kids that enjoy dressing up as super heroes, monsters and cartoon characters to get goodies in a sweet and fun evening.
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