Happy Halloween from Kathey Raskin of Las Vegas! Halloween is an exceptionally American holiday. Nobody does it like the United States. We love our costumes, our fun, themed parties, trick or treating, pumpkins, and everything in between. But have you ever wondered how – and if – Halloween is celebrated in other countries? Today, we’ll be exploring these traditions at Kathey Jo’s Kitchen. It’s never too late to start incorporating how other cultures look at Halloween into your own yearly celebrations. In fact, you’re probably already doing a lot of these already. Do you have a favorite? Let your fellow Kathey Jo’s Kitchen readers know in the comments, and make your own recommendations.
Where It All Began…
It’s mutually agreed upon that Ireland is where the tradition of Halloween began. Like in America, children dress in costumes and go trick or treating in their neighborhood, or play “knock-a-dolly,” which is basically the origins of ding dong dash. After the trick or treating is done for the night, families and friends meet for parties. Partygoers play “snap-apple” – like bobbing for apples – and take part in treasure hunts. Another game they play consists of laying cards face down with candy or coins underneath, where the winners keep their earnings. Barnbrack is a traditional Irish fruit loaf served around this time of year.
How It’s Celebrated in Other Places
Teng Chieh is the Chinese equivalent of Halloween, but when celebrated using the lunar calendar, it’s performed in February or March. France considers Halloween an “American” holiday. It didn’t take hold in the country until about the early- to mid-1990s. They’ve been slower to embrace the traditions of the holiday, but not without pushback. Mexican families remember their dead, and celebrate the continuity of life during El Dia de Los Muertos. This tradition has been warmly embraced as part of the festivities in America, so you’ve probably seen its influence grow over the years, like sugar skulls. It starts on Halloween and continues until All Souls’ Day on November 2.
Do you have a favorite Halloween tradition or treat you’d like to share? Let me, Kathey Raskin, know in the comments.