Creepy costumes, carved pumpkins, scary paraphernalia and, most importantly, a lot of sweets. These are just some of the symbols associated with Halloween today. Although it is popular mainly in English-speaking countries, some traditions are slowly starting to spread around the world. Read on Joy-pup when Halloween is celebrated in 2022 and how it is celebrated in different countries.
When is Halloween in 2022 – the date of the celebration
Halloween has a fixed date – it is celebrated on October 31, on the eve of the Christian holiday of All Saints and two days before All Souls’ Day (November 2). In 2022 it falls on a Monday, and in 2023 we will celebrate it on a Tuesday. A spooky holiday, in fact, a mixture of ancient traditions and the desire to reconcile the living with the dead.
Halloween is not “American” as many of us think. This is a modified holiday of Samhain, which was celebrated by the Celtic tribes who lived more than 2000 years ago in Ireland, Britain and northern France. The night from October 31 to November 1 is the time of the end of summer and the harvest, which the Celts celebrated as the onset of the New Year. This marks the beginning of a cold and dark winter, often associated with human death. According to Celtic tradition, the worlds of the dead and the living intersect on this night. Therefore, bonfires were symbolically lit so that the dead souls would find their way to the dwellings of the living, where they could warm up and spend the night. The strength and power of ritual fires and sacrifices to pagan deities were to help in the coming six difficult winter months.
This holiday remained significant even after the penetration of Christianity into this territory. After the conquest of the Celtic territories by the Romans and during their subsequent 400-year reign, the course of Samhain celebrations gradually acquired new elements. Two Roman holidays were combined with it: Feralia – the commemoration of the dead and Pomona – the goddess of abundance, gardens and fruits. The symbol of Pomona was an apple, which has become one of the attributes in modern Halloween. From the 19th century, the Celtic holiday began to spread throughout Europe and the United States by Irish and Scottish immigrants. There it acquired its current name Halloween – short for All Hallows’ Eve (All Saints’ Day eve).
How Halloween is celebrated in America
Halloween in the United States has become the second most popular holiday after Christmas. About 100 years ago, it was truly dangerous: on this night, many pranks of youth took place, some of which ended in injury and damage. Therefore, it was also called the Night of Mischief. To keep the situation from getting out of control, organized family-oriented Halloween events began to be held in the 1920s.
A typical Halloween activity in America is trick-or-treating – going from house to house begging for candy. Children in costumes of ghosts, witches and skeletons visit the houses in the neighborhood, menacingly asking: Trick or treat? If the owners of the house did not want their home to be subjected to petty vandalism, then they treated the children with sweets. Halloween looks are one of the best moments of the holiday. Adults and children dress up in crazy outfits of mummies, ghosts, zombies, movie and cartoon characters, animals. Some cities host parades and festivals dedicated to the creation of costumes. These days in the USA, there is a frenzy of decorating houses and streets with creepy attributes – pumpkin lanterns, cobwebs, skulls, skeletons, bats, ghosts. The typical colors of Halloween are black and orange, signifying death and the fall season.
How Halloween is celebrated in England
Halloween isn’t all that popular in the UK given its Celtic roots. One of the reasons is Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire Night, which is celebrated on November 5th. Bonfire Night is celebrated more pompously and overshadows Halloween. Dressing up as evil spirits and begging for sweets is also practiced in England, but before receiving a treat, children must demonstrate their talent, for example, by singing or reciting a verse. In England, the traditional game of apple popping is popular on Halloween, which is based on the Roman rituals of worshiping the goddess Pomona. Her goal is to grab an apple floating in a basin of water with her teeth without using her hands. Here’s another fun Halloween activity that doesn’t use your hands, by biting off sticky, molasses-covered cakes hanging from a string. According to Celtic traditions, the lamps were carved from turnips, but thanks to the influence of America, pumpkin lanterns were also made here.
How Halloween is celebrated in Germany
In Germany, Halloween is known as “All Saints’ Eve”, followed by All Saints’ Day on 1 November and All Souls’ Day on 2 November. Traditionally, Germans honor the dead on All Saints’ Day by placing lamps and candles on the graves of deceased relatives and decorating the graves with wreaths. Pumpkin festivals are also a popular way to celebrate the arrival of autumn and Halloween with the whole family. German children also love the tradition of begging for sweets. They knock on doors to ask, “Süßes oder Saures?” (Sweet or sour?), which is the German equivalent of “Trick or treat”.
How Halloween is celebrated in Ukraine
On the territory of Ukraine, this is not a traditional holiday, as, for example, in the United States, but is of an entertaining nature. However, its popularity is growing, especially among the younger generation. Events are organized for children where they can show off their scary costume and frightening makeup, and feast on creepy-looking treats. Popular tourist spots make up a special Halloween program. For adults, various costumed Halloween parties or corporate parties are organized, as well as watching horror films in the cinema. Many shops and homes are decorated with Jack O’Lanterns and other Halloween paraphernalia.
How Halloween is celebrated in Ireland
Ireland, with its Celtic history, is in many ways the birthplace of Halloween. And in modern Ireland, these traditions live to this day. Halloween games and bonfires are part of the celebration, but perhaps the most interesting tradition is the Barnbrack, a fruit pie with an object hidden in it that predicts the eater’s future. Like many centuries ago, across the country, children dress up in costumes and spend Trick-or-treating evenings in their neighborhoods. Most people attend parties with neighbors and friends. Many games are played on them, including “Snap-apple”, a game in which an apple is tied on a string to a door frame or tree, and the players try to bite the hanging apple. In addition to apple hunting, adults often organize treasure hunts using candy or pastries as “treasures”. Children love to play pranks on their neighbors with the Dolly game. They knock on their neighbors’ doors, but run away before the door opens.
How Halloween is celebrated in Italy
Italy celebrates Halloween, however it is usually considered a holiday to honor the dead and children do not participate in trick-or-treating. Memorial Day tends to be the center of attention, and although it is gaining popularity as a “fun” celebration, this element is not yet dominant. In Italy, families bake a sweet Halloween pastry called Ossa Dei Morti. It is placed in the center of the table, and other dishes are placed around. This symbolizes the belief that the souls of the dead will join the souls of the living to enjoy a wonderful meal together. After the meal, when the family goes to church, the doors of the house are traditionally left open to allow access for deceased ancestors and loved ones.