Halloween Around The World
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Halloween is a holiday observed on October 31, primarily in regions of the Western world, & among those that do the traditions & importance of the celebration vary significantly. A much celebrated holiday in Ireland and Scotland, mass transatlantic Irish and Scottish immigration in the 19th century popularized Halloween in North America. The holiday is celebrated to a lesser extent in other parts of the world.

See Halloween in Ireland
See Halloween in Scotland
See Halloween in England
See Halloween in Canada and USA
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France
Halloween celebration in France began in 1997 on behalf of retail companies, but has not caught on in any wide sense. Popularity peaked in 2000, but declined after that. In 2006, many French newspapers wrote on the death of Halloween. It was purely commercial, and overlapped with the Toussaint day (Catholic festival) that takes place November 1.
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Australia
Despite many American media influences (including television sit-coms and The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror and its sequels), Halloween is frowned upon by some due to its having little relevance to Australian culture. It is also considered an unwanted American influence and an online poll conducted by News Limited has suggested that 84% of Australians are opposed to the event as "an event on the calendar". In 2006, costume shops reported a rise in sales on Halloween-themed costumes, on October 31, 2006 and have reported a steady increase on October 31, 2007. On Halloween night, horror films and horror-themed TV episodes are traditionally aired, and currently, Halloween private parties are more commonly held than actual "trick-or-treating", however both are still observed. Trick or treating is generally only done in the trick-or-treater's neighbourhood.
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Isle of Man
The Manx traditionally celebrate Hop-tu-Naa on October 31; this ancient Celtic tradition has parallels in Irish and Scottish traditions.
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Wales
In Welsh, Halloween is known as Nos Calan Gaeaf (the beginning of the new winter; see Calan Gaeaf). Spirits are said to walk around (as it is an Ysbrydnos, or "spirit night"), and a "white lady" ghost is sometimes said to appear. Bonfires are lit on hillsides to mark the night.

In many urban areas, principally South Wales, Welsh children Trick or Treat, as per the American custom. Halloween parties and events are common place.

Customs
Coelcerth: Families build a fire and place stones with their names on it. The person whose stone is missing the next morning would die within the year.
Yr Hwch Ddu Gwta: Legend has it that a fearsome spirit called Yr Hwch Ddu Gwta took the form of a tail-less black sow and roamed the countryside with a headless woman. Children would rush home early.
Eiddiorwg Dalen: A few leaves of ground ivy is thought to give you the power to see hags. For prophetic dreams a boy should cut ten ivy leaves, throw away one and put the rest under his head before he sleeps. A girl should take a wild rose grown into a hoop, creep through it three times, cut it in silence, and go to bed with it under her pillow.
Teiliwr: In Glamorgan tailors were associated with witchcraft. They supposedly possessed the power to ‘bewitch’ anybody if they wished.
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Mexico
In Mexico, Halloween has been celebrated since roughly 1960. There, celebrations have been influenced by the American traditions, such as the costuming of children who visit the houses of their neighborhood in search of candy. Though the "trick-or-treat" motif is used, tricks are not generally played on residents not providing candy. Older crowds of preteens, teenagers and adults will sometimes organize Halloween-themed parties, which might be scheduled on the nearest available weekend. Usually kids stop by at peoples' houses, knock on their door or the ring the bell and say "¡Noche de Brujas, Halloween!" ('Witches' Night, Halloween!') or "¡Queremos Haloween!" (We want Halloween!). The second phrase is more commonly used among children, the affirmation of "We want Halloween" means "We want candy", similarly "Me da mi calaverita" means "I want my little skull".

Halloween in Mexico begins three days of consecutive holidays, as it is followed by All Saints' Day, which also marks the beginning of the two day celebration of the Day of the Dead or the Día de los Muertos. This might account for the initial explanations of the holiday having a traditional Mexican-Catholic slant.
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The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, and Austria
Halloween has become increasingly popular in Belgium, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, and Austria since the early 1990s. From early October, stores are full of merchandise related to the popular Halloween themes. Students and little children dress up on Halloween for parties and small parades. Trick-or-treating is uncommon in these countries because children already engage in a similar practice to celebrate St. Martin's Day, which takes place a few days after Halloween. On November 11, Dutch, Belgian, German, and Austrian children ring doorbells hoping to receive a small treat in return for singing a short song dedicated to St. Martin.
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Romania
Halloween in Romania is celebrated around the myth of "Dracula" on October 31. In Transylvania and especially in the city of Sighişoara, there are many costume parties, for teenagers and adults, that are created from the US model. Also the spirit of Dracula is believed to live there because the town was the site of many witch trials; these are recreated today by actors on the night of Halloween.
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Switzerland
In Switzerland, Halloween is seen as being a pagan festival. After first becoming popular in 1999, Halloween is on the wane. People see it as an imported product from the United States, which has not recently enjoyed a good image in the country. Switzerland already has a "festival overload" and even though Swiss people like to dress up for any occasion, they do prefer a traditional element.

Ueli Mäder, a professor of sociology at Basel University said that the Swiss adoption of Halloween about ten years ago – Swiss shops stocked Halloween costumes and masks for the first time in 1999 – came from "a need for rituals". "In a strongly commercialised world a need arises for meaningful experiences. I can imagine that a ritual like Halloween when it is celebrated in a simple genuine way can satisfy that need." But he added: "It also took on an exaggerated or extreme form for a while which probably turned some people off. Perhaps is there is a need to bring Halloween back to a more simple level."
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Italy
In the traditional culture of some regions of Italy there were until the last century traditions very similar to Halloween, i.e. beliefs about nocturnal visiting and processions of dead people, preparation of special biscuits and carving jack-o'-lanterns.

Particularly between 1630 and 1640 the Catholic Church carried on a campaign to suppress surviving pagan traditions connected to All Saints' Day and its eve. These feasts vanished completely; until the mid-1970s the festivity was completely unknown by the people, in 1979 just 1 million of people on a population of 57 million declared celebrating Halloween.

Between the 20th and 21st centuries, however, Halloween was popularized principally by television and merchandising coming from United States, including sitcom episodes such as The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror (trick-or-treat's translation as "Dolcetto o Scherzetto", literally treat-or-joke, appeared first in dubbed sitcoms). As a result, in 1989 4 million declared celebrating it, in 1999 7 million and in 2009 10 million, turning Halloween in Italy into a major festivity that outclasses the Catholic ones among Italian children.

Halloween traditions are mostly based on US tradition, but even then not completely – for example the story of Jack-o'-lantern is not widely known, and people talk simply of the "zucca di Halloween" ("Halloween pumpkin"). Some children trick-or-treat and are given candy or fruit, they dress up as skeletons, zombies, devils etc., though most elderly people still do not understand the children's request. Teens, instead, celebrate the festivity disguising themselves as horror characters, throwing eggs, spraying foam and doing dirty tricks on each other.
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Denmark
In Denmark children go trick-or-treating, even though they already collect candy from neighbors on Fastelavn, the Danish name for the Carnival which occurs before Lent.
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Central and South America
In most parts of Central and South America, kids will pay a visit to their neighbors and yell "¡Dulce o Truco!" ('Sweet or Trick!') in order to get candy, while in Brazil kids yell "Doce ou Travessura!". The Spanish name for Halloween is Noche de Brujas (Night of the Witches), and the Portuguese name is Dia das Bruxas.
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Colombia
In Colombia Halloween is celebrated widely and in the fashion of the United States' celebration. Children dress up and visit their neighbours chanting "¡Triqui triqui halloween, Quiero dulces para mi, Si no hay dulces para mi, Se le crece la nariz!" (Tricky tricky halloween, I want candy for me, If there is no candy for me, Your nose will grow!) There is no cultural precedent for the celebration of Halloween, the current festivities are the result of the influence of American culture and commercial interests. Notably, the chant commences with "Triqui triqui", a rough transliteration of "trick or treat", words which have no meaning in Spanish. The images and symbols commonly associated with Halloween (witches, skeletons, spider webs, pumpkins and the like) are faithfully represented in Colombian Halloween celebrations.

Recently the Catholic Church has expressed its concerns over the celebration of a day in which ghosts, goblins, witches and other expressions of evil are linked to the happiness of children. In recent years there has been a concerted push to change the celebration of Halloween to the celebration of Children's Day, in which costumes and sweets would still be present, but the sinister side of the event would be suppressed. Although there is increased use of "Children´s Day", "Halloween" is by far the word used for the celebration.
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Norway
In Norway Halloween has become very popular, and most toy stores etc. have big sales and massive campaigns. Children go trick-or-treating, but it is much more common to not perform a trick, only ringing the door bell and asking for candy.
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Finland
Halloween has become increasingly popular among the new generation in Finland. Teenagers like to wear costumes and have Halloween-themed parties.
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Arab Christians (Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank/Gaza)
Arab Christians in Lebanon, Syria and West Bank celebrate Saint Barbara's Day or Eid il-Burbara on December 4 in a style somewhat reminiscent of Halloween celebrations in other countries. Children wear costumes and go trick-or-treating whilst singing a song. The traditional food for the occasion is Burbara, a bowl of boiled barley, pomegranate seeds, raisins, anise and sugar offered to masquerading children. Lebanese Christians believe that Saint Barbara disguised herself as numerous characters to elude the Romans who were persecuting her.

Qarqe'an is a similar holiday celebrated in Kuwait and other Gulf states. The scary theme is not a part of the tradition: children dress in traiditional garb, form groups, carry baskets and sing outside of homes, receiving sweets and nuts for their effort.
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Japan
Halloween has become popular only recently in Japan, mainly in the context of American pop culture. Western-style Halloween decorations such as jack-o'-lanterns can be seen in many locations, and places such as Tokyo Disneyland and Universal Studios Japan put on special Halloween events. The wearing of costumes is mostly limited to private home parties, day care centers and kindergartens, as well as in larger cities at bars frequented or run by foreigners. On a national scale trick-or-treating is largely unpracticed.
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Hong Kong
Halloween in Hong Kong has two traditions. The first involves the event called "Yue Lan" (Festival of the Hungry Ghosts). It is less of celebration, but rather an opportunity to give gifts to spirits of the dead to provide comfort and ward them off.

The second and more commercialized event is celebrated by expatriate Americans or Canadians. Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park (Halloween Bash) host annual Halloween shows. Lan Kwai Fong bars will be decked out with Halloween decorations to lure expats and locals interest in Halloween.

While trick or treating is not as commonly celebrated in Hong Kong, there are events at Tsim Sha Tsui's Avenue of the Stars that try to mimic the celebration.
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India
Halloween has become very popular among the new generation only recently mainly in the context of American pop culture. There are western style decorations like jack-o'-lanterns, trick-or-treating and costume parties etc. Many people collect all the candy and donate it to the poor. In India, Halloween is considered as more of a social event. Halloween is only popular in major cities.
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Philippines
In the Philippines they celebrate a holiday called Undas or Araw ng mga Patay (Day of the Dead) on November 1 or November 2. Recently the habit of trick or treating has become popular in urban areas, especially the Metro Manila area, but on a national scale, it is not largely practiced.
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Saint Helena
In Saint Helena Halloween is actively celebrated, largely along the American model, with ghosts, skeletons, devils, vampires, witches and the like. Imitation pumpkins are used as the season is wrong for real ones. Trick-or-treating is widespread. Party venues provide entertainment for adults.
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Pictured: President George W. Bush shares a moment with a king during a Halloween night stop.
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