Halloween culture unique around the world

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  • Halloween as it is celebrated in Mexico, the United States, and Germany. Despite differences in tradition, each holiday can find commonalities in their appreciation of the supernatural.

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Sierra Webb, Reporter

For most, American’s Halloween is one of the most beloved holidays to celebrate. As a kid you could dress up as your favorite super hero and feel as if you were on top of the world because you got to dress up as Batman or Spiderman for Halloween. Halloween gives us the opportunity to be someone or something different; for one night you can be anything you want, and nobody thinks you’re weird for dressing up as a firefighter or police officer. Passing out bowls of candy, displaying your favorite decorations around your yard, and, watching scary movies are traditions that never go out of style when celebrating Halloween.

But the best tradition is, dressing up, walking door to door, and saying the same slogan you have been saying since you were three: “Trick or Treat.” At the end of the night, when your feet are sore and your pillow case overflowing with the endless amounts of sugary goodies you have received all night ends up spilled out on your mom’s nice rug in the living room, that is the end of a successful Halloween.

This spooky holiday dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to keep roaming spirits away. Halloween was spread in the 1800 to North America, specifically Maryland where European ethnic groups and American Indians influenced each other’s cultures and beliefs till a different version of Halloween emerged. Halloween eventually evolved into a family-friendly, community-based event where families would trick-or-treat together around nighttime.

While the majority of families in the United States celebrate Halloween, many cultures and countries may not even know what Halloween is or celebrate a different holiday around the same day as Halloween. Dias de los Muertos in Mexico, Seleenwoche in Austria, Guy Fawkes Day in Great Britain, Samhain in Ireland and Scotland, All Saints Day in Germany, and Teng Chieh in China, are some of the countries that celebrate a different holiday around the same time as Halloween.

Sarah Gross (’19) and her twin brother Simon Gross (’19) have recently moved to Hereford from Berlin, Germany.

Sarah and Simon lived in Berlin, Germany for 15 years where they attended a German/American school. Their mother is American and their father is German, so the family celebrated Halloween in their small German/American neighborhood.

“Most families don’t celebrate Halloween because it isn’t an actual holiday there and people don’t usually get excited about it,” Sarah Gross said.

Although the majority of German families do not celebrate Halloween but, All Saints Day, Gross and her family kept the American tradition alive and celebrated the spooky holiday.