How are you going to live your Halloween 2017? Let us show you some different ways
The origins of Halloween go back to Irelands Druid's, where a series of rituals were held in honor of Samhain, to commemorate the end of summer. This change of climate entailed for them the return of their souls, which always coincided with the return of the cold.
Now in the XXI century, it is a fact that the traditions more typical of the American way of celebrating is becoming more rooted in Europe. A clear example is the celebration of Halloween Night in Spain, which undoubtedly bears a very direct resemblance to the tradition that is lived in the United States. And although the ways of celebrating Halloween in different Western countries are always directly related to the purest and distant Irish Halloween that the Celts began thousands of years ago, their styles can vary. Therefore, for this publication we are going to focus on those differences of experiencing this fiesta.
For this, we have chosen four countries that show alternative ways to live this Halloween party, although all of them do it with the same goal: to worship their loved ones, and in the case of the most superstitious, to ward off evil spirits.
Halloween in Spain
The truth is that the celebration of Halloween in Spain is very recent, until a few years ago, the only tradition to celebrate the loved ones that we lost in our country was the day of all Saints. But with the arrival of Halloween, we have managed to turn the tears into smiles, and even accept the later day of the dead in Spain with a much more optimistic point of view.
Although in Spain the tradition of carrying flowers to the cemeteries continues every 1st of November, it is a fact that the celebration of Halloween has sweetening our way of remembering loved ones, and remains with the same amount of devotion, nostalgia and affection.
In fact, this feast in honor of those who are no longer with us, arrived in Spain directly from the United States, although there, this great tradition coinciding with the arrival of those Irish who emigrated in the second half of the 19th century after the historic Great Irish Famine. Even so, it is a fact, that we celebrate Halloween because over time, we are inheriting cultures from America.
We are facing a somewhat satirical culture that has undoubtedly gone around the world. The usual Halloween decoration in all cases, as you well know, is characterized by pumpkins and cobwebs that usually adorn the houses, children who collect candy from neighbors as a trick or treat, disguises that honor the most classic horror film characters from different eras, and a special predilection for telling tenebrous stories around the chimneys of homes.
These images are sure to be familiar not only because you have seen them in the movies, but because they are habits that are increasingly typical of our country. And although Spain practices the tradition following the basic rituals of Halloween, it does so in a much more moderate way than in countries like the United States, Ireland or the United Kingdom.
Among the little ones in the family, this popular culture is widespread not only among Spanish neighborhoods. It is also celebrated in a big way in schools, where more and more young students celebrate their special Halloween costume parties and in some cases, even the symbolic pumpkin competitions so popular in Anglo-Saxon countries.
Halloween in has already started in Spain, and during the night, adult costume parties are also frequent. For this reason, you are probably already thinking about what to do on Halloween.
If you decide to visit our hotels in Servigroup, Halloween theme parties accommodate all our guests, regardless of their ages and nationalities, which are always diverse at this time of year.
Halloween in Germany
Halloween in Germany has a double celebration, since October 31st coincides with the popular and historic Day of Reformation in Germany. This other festival has its origins in the sixteenth century, and is made in honor of Martin Luther, for the reforms he carried out in rebellion against the then traditional Catholic Church.
But as far as German Halloween is concerned, although basically the essence of the holiday is the same as in the United States and the rest of the West, it also has its own character and meaning.
As the most basic custom of this autumn welcoming party, the most common thing is to disguise yourself and have a great time. Even so, the Halloween night party has been gaining more excitement in recent years, and also gives special prominence to those Celtic roots that dismissed the good weather to start a new season less conducive to the harvests, and also to scare the bad spirits.
The witch festivals are also very popular in this Germanic Halloween, a tradition that in this case does come from more than 600 years ago, and in which a whole performance is made, which also highlights the pumpkin contests and magic shows.
Halloween costumes, generally in Germany, are the same as those used in other countries, and children's traditions are also equivalent to ours. Of course, if you do not o give them sweets, the consequences will be somewhat more serious than in other countries. In German children not only throw eggs at your door as revenge, but also fried tomatoes, in addition cover the facade of your house with toilet paper.
Traditions tend to vary slightly from one region to another, as in some cities, Halloween is a holiday and in others it runs until November 8th. This is known as the week of Halloween in Germany.
Go to one point or another of the country, you will surely be surprised and have fun with their original creative ways of living and enjoying the party.
Halloween in Mexico
The fusion of Halloween with the traditional Day of the Dead in Mexico has an explosive and original result, fitting both celebrations perfectly.
Also known as the Day of the Dead, or All Saints Day, it is a tradition that comes from a long time before the arrival of Columbus to America. In addition, this legendary tradition of the dead has been merging and adapting over the centuries, to these cultural contributions of the European colonizers.
Its celebration takes place over two days (although it is mentioned in the singular): one dedicated to the souls of the children on the November 1st, and the other one to venerate the deceased adults, on the 2nd of November of each year.
Today, the Day of the Dead in Mexico is considered by UNESCO as an undisputed Masterpiece of the World Heritage, especially for the cultural richness that affords this peculiar form of celebration in honor of the deceased. In addition, it is also the most represented tradition of Mexican culture
If you decide to visit Mexico in these dates, you will be surprised by the raised altars in the streets and in the courtyards in commemoration to the souls. You will also be struck by some striking decorations in which yellow predominates, this is considered in Mexico as the color of death from pre-Columbian times.
But the food also has a relevant role, both for Halloween, and for the two subsequent Days of the Dead. As the Central Americans are very fond of cooking for these dates their most personal dishes in honor of their departed. The traditional stews of meat or jams, as well as their delicious tamales (made with corn and banana), the bread of death (made with sugar and strips of crusts in the shape of skulls and crossbones) among other culinary delights are delicacies you should try it if you decide to visit Mexico on Halloween.
The main thing is that the living goes out looking for the dead to offer them a whole feast of smells, colors and flavors, all accompanied by the purest Mexican music.
As for the night of Halloween, celebrated on the eve of the day of the dead, Mexicans make use of their particular satire, and flood the streets of their cities with joy for several days, also showing an endless series of costumed parades of all kinds.
All this is always accompanied by a constant political parody, in which the costumes of Donald Trump will return to be the main protagonists, just like last year.
Halloween stores in Mexico, as well as restaurants and other commercial establishments, are also prepared for the occasion, and are decorated in the most traditional American style.
But how do the little ones celebrate Mexican Halloween? Actually, the party is very similar to the one we all know. Perhaps the biggest difference is that children wear skull-shaped jackets instead of candy baskets. In this way they usually ask their neighbors to give them some coins, usually with the phrase One-fifth for my skull.
Halloween in China
In this country, which has an increasing fascination for the Western world, Their Halloween equals the traditional Teng Chieh in honor of the spirits.
Their worship of the deceased on this date consists of two types of rituals: the first consists in showing photographs of their missing loved ones, and placing with them some food in his honor. It is about giving strength to their spirits and enlightening the way for their visit to that mortal world that they left behind. All this is done for a clear reason, as it is said that lost souls return to their homes in search of food.
On the other hand, Chinese Halloween also has the function of helping those souls or spirits that have been trapped after an unexpected death without being able to be buried. It is said in China that when someone dies by accident (or unexpectedly), it remains trapped in darkness, and therefore one of the goals of Halloween in China is to help them find the way to ascend to heaven.
For this, the Buddhists prepare a ritual with their typical paper boats, which are burned from dusk to help the departed to be free of the darkness in which they continue to be trapped, always after returning back to their households.
It is also customary to recite prayers dedicated to them and burn incense. But Asian Halloween also has its fun side, as it is increasingly common to hold parties, and even outdoor concerts. Even so, in principle, the goal is also to cheer up those restless or angry spirits or souls.
Interesting, right? It is clear that the oriental culture is always able to surprise us by its originality, and its differences to the West are always interesting.
Wherever you are this Halloween 2017, we will be waiting for you at our hotels. Do you dare?