Snippet: Halloween



Halloween is celebrated every year on October 31 and originated from the Celtic festival Samhain (next slide). Around 43 A.D., the Roman Empire then conquered much of Celtic territory and combined Roman traditions with Samhain. Later, the Catholic church created All Saints’ Day (also called All-Hallows Day), a feast day on November 1st to celebrate saints, and the night before became celebrated as All-Hallow’s Eve, or Halloween. People around the world celebrate Halloween (or their culture’s similar holidays) in various ways, and many others don’t celebrate it at all.

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The ancient Celtic festival Samhain marked the end of summer and was their New Years’ Eve. Winter was seen as a time of death, so this transitional day was a day where the boundary between life and death blurred, with ghosts walking the earth.

Today, Irish and Scottish people celebrate Halloween with costumes and trick-or-treating. More traditionally, people have bonfires, play games, and eat barmbrack, an Irish fortune-telling fruit cake containing rings, coins, and buttons.

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Day of Dracula

To celebrate Halloween, people from around the world visit “Vlad Dracula’s” home at Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania. There are numerous guides, travel packages, and parties in Romania and Count Dracula’s castle for this celebration.


Pangangaluluwa is a tradition in the Philippines where children go door to door, usually in costumes where they sing and ask for prayers for those in purgatory.

Awuru Odo Festival

The Awuru Odo Festival originated from Nigeria, and is an major part of Igbo culture, which is one of Nigeria’s oldest tribes. In Igbo culture, the Odo are considered spirits of the dead. As part of the Awuru Odo Festival, people often wear costumes and masks to mimic the spirits, as well as to show their gratitude and respect.

Image from: Khmer Times

Pchum Ben

The Pchum Ben ceremony takes place every year in Cambodia. In the Khmer language, Pchum means “a meeting or gathering”, while Ben means “a ball of something”, such as rice. On Pchum Ben Day, Villagers gather to celebrate with food and the reading of scriptures. The third and fourth scriptures relating to the festival say that during the heaviest rain period, the devil releases ghosts so they can receive food from their living relatives. The ghosts who can receive food through the Buddhist monks are called the Pakrakteaktopak Chivi.

Image from: Britannica

All Saints’ Day

All Saints' Day is a religious holiday celebrated on November 1st that was created to honor all Saints and saints who made it to heaven in the afterlife. All Saints’ Day has no certain origin but on May 13 in 609 A.D Pope Boniface IV dedicated it to honor martyrs and the Virgin Mary. This caused May 13 to be a day to honor the saints. However, later on Pope Gregory (whose reign was from 731-741 A.D) dedicated a chapel in Saint Peter’s in honor of all saints. This caused All Saints’ Day to be moved to November 1st: where it remains to this day.

Image by: KE Ooi

Hungry Ghost Festival

The seventh month in the Chinese calendar is known as the ghost month and is known as an unlucky month. Ghosts are believed to roam the earth to look for entertainment and food. Many people across Asia come together to honor the dead. The festival teaches the lesson that one needs to take care of not only relatives but also the less fortunate. It is traditional to leave offerings varying from money to luxury villas. Celebrations vary from raising money for charities to Chinese operas.


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