Halloween comes from an ancient tradition of Celtic origin, these ancient peoples celebrated on October 31 a before and after in their calendar with a party they called "Samhain" (in Gaelic "the end of summer"). This last day of October marked the end of the harvest season, the autumn equinox and the change of season, becoming the most important festival in pagan Europe. 

October 31 was a day of transit between one year and the next, between light and darkness, heat and cold, etc., which gave it special qualities, and included communication with the dead.

With the passage of time, the extension of the Samhein festival and the mixture of cultures, other practices that have reached the present day became common.


When the Romans occupied the Celtic domains, they assimilated the festival of Samhein intermingling it with the Roman harvest festival (in honor of the goddess Pomona), but after the Christianization of the Empire it began to be called "The Eve of All Saints", for the Christian feast of the following day. This came to the US and Canada on the emigrant ships that departed from Europe during the XNUMXth century, many of them Catholics of Irish origin who brought the traditional festival with them.

The party would begin to be celebrated massively in the country in the 20s, when the first Halloween parade was held in Minnesota in 1921, to which other states quickly joined. The party became popular throughout the country and from the 70s, with John Carpenter's Halloween Saga and horror movies, began to internationalize throughout the world. How has each country integrated the holidays in honor of their deceased loved ones with the globally popular Halloween?



We leave you some examples of celebrations of this international day!

  • Festival in West Hollywood (THE): One of the most spectacular parties in all of California, with lots of live music and parades through the streets.
  • Queen Mary's ship (Long Beach, USA): Throughout October there are tours for those visitors who want to try to connect with the ghosts of the ship.
  • Kawasaki Halloween Parade (Kawasaki, Japan):  Thousands of people walk through one of the most important arteries of the Japanese city with their terrifying costumes. The largest parade of its kind in Japan, entry is required up to two months before the start.
  • The Amagüesto of the Dead (Asturias, Spain): In Asturias on this date is chestnut and apple harvest time, so sweet cider and roasted chestnuts are the big stars of this festival. The tradition is to collect chestnuts as a family and sit around the fire to roast and eat them, and what is left over will be thrown into the fire shouting “this is for the deceased to eat”. Afterwards is the Ronda de las Ánimas Benditas, in which a prayer is made for the deceased of the family.
  • Day of the Dead (Mexico): It is one of the best-known festivities in the world in which the streets of the country are filled with their well-known skulls. On November 2, one of the most important events in the country is celebrated in the city of Oaxaca, with vigils in the city's cemeteries, altars with candles everywhere and night processions. 
  • Derry City (Ireland): 'Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival', is a festival with live music, plays, shows and tours to "trick or treat".
  • Tivoli Park Gardens in Copenhagen (Denmark): Concerts, shows and fireworks are some of the activities.
  • Bran Castle (Transylvania, Romania): 25 kilometers northeast of Brasov, in Bram. Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend around the myth of Dracula, visits to the Castle are essential on this date.
  • Itaewon (Seoul): Se streets are closed to traffic and shops and street stalls are set up, including live music and costume contests.
  • London Zombie Walk (London, UK): A parade where thousands of people dressed up walk the streets of the capital.
  • famadihana (Madagascar): Halloween is celebrated in a very curious way with the festival known as Famadihana, which literally means "Funeral Home". What they celebrate is an eventual return of the dead to the plane of the living. People come to cemeteries to "take out the bodies of their deceased" and dress them or wrap them in shrouds, regardless of the state of the corpse. Together, they come together in grand parades, dances, and live music.