Languages Magazine

Halloween in Other Countries and Languages

By Tlb
learn english: halloween traditions

Yeah, Halloween has already passed! This is the typical times where people are wearing scary costumes of witches and vampires, fairies and princesses, superhero costumes, and all. As they wear their most hideous costumes, they will knock from house to house to ask the residences if they want “trick or treat”. Usually, the kids are the ones asking this and they subconsciously don’t want to make “trick” at all. The resident will just simply give candies to them. It’s really enjoyable to greet and celebrate Halloween, you know.

Students who learn English language can relate to this Halloween tradition especially when they are learning to countries that practice this tradition.

Though some conservatives condemn this kind of practice especially that the event is   highlighting monsters and creatures of the dead, still there are some who view this in a more optimistic way. Nevertheless, it would have been better if everyone may care to participate in this event especially that its aim is to give kids entertainment right?

Have you thought about how Halloween is celebrated in other countries and languages? Most of the countries do not practice trick or treat or does not acknowledge the Halloween season. In many catholic-tradition countries, instead, they celebrate this time to contemplate their passed loved ones and take this opportunity to go to the cemeteries to render flowers and candles.

  • Spanish (Spain) – Día de todos los Santos (All Saints’ Day). In Spain, they celebrate All Saints’ Day instead of the previous night. It is not really a day of joyful celebration, but a day of remembrance and mourning.
  • Spanish (Mexico) – El día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). In Mexico and other Latin American countries 1st and 2nd of November are days for remembering those loved people who have died. Due to a less importance of rigid catholic traditions and the big influence of ancient pre-Columbian cultures, the festival is a colourist celebration instead of a mourning day.
  • Catalan – Castanyada. It’s a popular autumn festival, celebrated on All Saints’ Day. It’s named after Catalan name for the chestnut, castanya, because chestnuts are the starring food of the day. The days around this celebration, it is common to see street vendors selling roasted chestnuts wrapped in newspapers.
  • Portuguese. Dia das Bruxas Portugal also celebrate All Saint’s day, but the anglosaxon influence have made very popular Halloween, known as O Dia das Bruxas (The Day of the Witches)  – In Brasil, on October 31 they commemorate the day of  Saci-pererê, a prankster character form the Tupi-Guarani mythology.
  • Italy celebrates Ognissanti or simply I Santi (All Saints’ Day) on November 1st and il Giorno dei Morti (All Souls’ Day) on November 2nd. But In the last years Halloween is becoming very popular and it’s not uncommon to see people dressed up in costumes.

These are some examples. Do you have anything else in mind? Feel free to add it up.

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