Historically, Halloween is an American tradition, however, it has now spread all over the world. People everywhere are dressed up as scary monsters and bloody bodies. Of course the amount of people that dress up depends on the country they live in.
What is Halloween and where did it come from?
Dating back to European traditions, Halloween originated from the ancient Gaelic festival, Samhain. It was a day to celebrate the end of the harvest season – it means “summer's end”.
Historically Gaels thought the walls between the spiritual realm and our world where thin. In order to protect their crops, they would set up places at their dinner tables for good spirits and light bonfires to scare off evil spirits.
Trick or treating and dressing up came from 16th Century Ireland, Scotland and Wales. People would ask for food in exchange for a poem or song. People dressed up in scary costumes and impersonated the souls of the dead to protect themselves.
How do we celebrate it in China?
It’s not common to see children trick or treating, but you might see pumpkins or squash decorating shop-fronts and grocery stores selling Western products might stock some candy and other public venues. Not only do they dress up their staff, but they increase prices and encourage guests to dress up as well with outfits that they have on sale in the bar. It’s mainly just a time to share in the Western sentiment, not actually participate in it.
Halloween is becoming more and more popular, with hordes of revelers dressing up as ghosts, goblins and witches. To the Chinese, Halloween is like one huge decoration party. You’ll probably only find these parties in larger cities that have more expats living in them such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Finally, Halloween is not the same in every country, but it is a way to welcome the spirits of those who have passed away over the years, coming back to earth among the living. Happy Halloween with all the fun in the world.
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