Halloween is here and the excitement for the many fun activities for the festive holiday forms. Towns set up fairs and charity events and of course many children do the traditional Trick or Treat around their neighbourhoods. But as with every celebration, many different cultures celebrate Halloween in their own unique way.

El día de Muertos

In Hispanic countries such as Mexico, Spain and Columbia this holiday which translates to “The day of the dead” takes place from the evening of the 31st of October to the 2nd of November. During this, people honor lost loved ones as it’s believed that souls come back to their homes.

They decorate altars with flowers, photographs and foods that a family member was known to have enjoyed. Candles are also burned so that the dead are able to find their way back. Though it might be seen as a dismal event, Hispanic people see it as a way to bring the whole of the family together the many celebrations such as on November 2nd where joyous picnics and parties are held.

Irish Halloween

Ireland is the country where Halloween originates. In many rural areas they still make bonfires like the Celts did centuries ago but many still take part in the regular Trick or Treating. But there is a lot more going on afterwards.

Most neighbourhoods host parties with many traditional games. One of these is “Snap-apple” which consists of an apple on a string being tied to a doorframe or tree branch and the player has to bite it whilst blindfolded.

A traditional food eaten is “Barnbrack”, a type of fruitcake. There is a muslin-wrapped treat inside the cake which can tell the buyer’s future. If a ring is found it means that the person will soon get married or if there is a piece of straw, it means that they will have an amazing new year’s!

I asked another pupil what they think of these traditions, in reply they said:

“I think the day of the dead is a great idea as it makes people appreciate family more. But Ireland practices living in the moment instead with their many games and parties.” Anonymous student

So, how have you spent Halloween this year?