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How Halloween is Celebrated Around the World, and Why You Should Join in the Fun!

Halloween is a popular holiday celebrated across the globe, with many countries holding their own traditions. But why is this spooky special occasion so popular? How do different countries celebrate it? And how can you and your little ones join in the frighteningly good fun?

What Halloween means

The word ‘Halloween’ means ‘All Hallows Eve’. This spooky celebration takes place every year on October 31st, the day before All Hallows Day, or All Saints Day, on November 1st.

Why is Halloween celebrated?

Halloween marks the point in the year when the seasons change. It is one of the oldest holidays in the world, dating back to around 500 BC. Back then, Celtic tribes celebrated a holiday known as Samhain to welcome the start of winter.

It is said that Halloween is the night when the veil between the living and spirit worlds is at its thinnest, meaning that the spirits of those who have passed can revisit the living world for one night only. In days gone by, villagers would try to appease spirits with little treats such as fruit and nuts. This is where the notion of ‘trick or treating’ comes from.

According to legend, people would also wear masks and disguises to try to pass the spirits unnoticed. The theory was that spirits can’t see their own reflection, so if humans dressed up as ghosts and goblins, they wouldn’t be seen by those they feared. So if you’ve ever wondered where the idea of dressing up on Halloween came from, now you know!

Nowadays, Halloween is a day of fun for little ones. They get to dress up, eat sweets and generally have a wonderful evening!

How is Halloween celebrated around the world?

Each country celebrates Halloween in a slightly different way. Here are some of our favourites:

Mexico

Halloween in Mexico is known as Dia de las Brujas, and is celebrated by children, who go trick-or-treating in fancy dress. When they knock on people’s doors, the children shout ‘we want Halloween!’ However, the main event at this time of year is the world famous Día de los Muertos, which translates as ‘Day of the Dead’. This festival takes place just after our Halloween, on the 1st and 2nd of November.

During this celebration, locals dress up and build alters on which they present gifts to the spirits of loved ones.

Poland

The Polish celebrate All Souls’ Day on November 2nd in a tradition known as Zaduszki. During this holiday, families place wreaths, lanterns and small gifts on their relatives’ graves to celebrate the lives of lost loved ones.

Northern Ireland

Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween, and they sure celebrate in style! The largest Halloween carnival, known as Banks of the Foyle, takes place in Derry-Londonderry and includes interactive haunted house experiences and a grand parade.

UK & USA

Halloween is hugely popular in both the UK and America, especially with kiddies! Little ones dress up as their favourite ghoulish characters, from scary monsters to cheeky witches, and take part in parties, pumpkin carving, trick or treating and many other exciting activities to get them into the Halloween spirit.

Halloween ideas for kids

Though celebrations around the world can be a little sombre, here Halloween is a holiday that allows our little monsters to enjoy themselves! There are plenty of ways to join in the festivities to ensure your kids have some frightfully good fun.

Pumpkin carving

The Celts used to light the way to their homes by carving faces into turnips and squashes and placing a candle inside. That’s where the tradition of pumpkin carving comes from, but nowadays it’s a spooky way to decorate your home for Halloween. Though the actual carving should be left to grown-ups, get your little one involved by encouraging them to design a scary face for your pumpkin.

Fancy dress

Whether you take your little ones trick-or-treating or are throwing a spooky soiree at home, Halloween just wouldn’t be Halloween without dressing up! Remember, Halloween costumes don’t need to be scary. The holiday is a chance for your kids to express themselves, whether that means going with the traditional witch, ghost, skeleton or spider look, or choosing a more modern costume such as a fairy princess, fire fighter or giraffe!

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Apple bobbing

Apple bobbing is a traditional Halloween game that’s fun for all the family, and it actually has a really interesting origin. It is said that apple bobbing was once a way to worship the Roman goddess of fruit, Pomona.

All you need for this exciting little game is a big bucket or tub filled with water, and some apples for bobbing. It might also be worth laying some towels down to protect your floor from splashes!

Mummy bowling

This is a more modern party game idea, but your kids will love it all the same! Simply wrap up some plastic bowling pins in toilet paper and stick on some googly eyes for a creepy mummy look. The little ones can then take turns at knocking down the pins in this classic game with a Halloween twist.

Looking for inspiration for your little ones’ Halloween costumes? Check out our dressing up range to find the perfect outfit for your little gremlin!

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