In China, the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh. People place food and water in front of photographs of family members who have passed away. Also, bonfires and lanterns are lit in order to light the paths of the spirits as they travel the earth on Halloween night. Not spooky at all China. P.S. I love lanterns.
In this formerly-hard-to-spell country, chairs are placed by the fireside on Halloween night. There is one chair for each living family member and one for each family member's spirit. Big family? Head to IKEA.
Ahh, the French. Yep, those stylish Francopeople are too cool for school, so they don't have Halloween. It is regarded as an "American" holiday. Pfff. (Note: they probably do dress up and party but every blog needs a villain.)
Mexico (and Latin America in general)
Among Spanish-speaking nations, Halloween is the 3 day celebration known as "El Dia de los Muertos." It's a joyous and happy holiday...a time to remember friends and family who have died and who are believed to return to their homes on Halloween. Really joyous. As such, many families construct an altar in their home and decorate it with candy, flowers, photographs, fresh water and samples of the deceased's favourite foods and drinks (I'd be hoping for schnitzel).
Ze Germans put away their knives on Halloween night so they don't hurt the returning spirits. Really Germans? Really?
Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they were in the days of the Celts and children get their fancy dress onnn and spend the evening "trick-or-treating" in their neighbourhoods.
The Japanese celebrate the "Obon Festival" which is similar to Halloween festivities in that it honours the dead etc. Special foods are prepared and bright red lanterns are hung everywhere. Candles are lit and placed into MORE lanterns which are then set afloat on rivers and seas. LANTERNS. There are not enough lanterns in this world.
Americans take a break from their healthy, organic eating lifestyle to give all the kids in the country obscene amounts of lollies, or candy as they call it. Then the adults dress up, get drunk and vote in a maniacal president. Too soon?
So there you have it. Your tidbit of education for today. You can use it all year round, you have our permission.
Oh, and if you really truly want to give your kids a healthy treat, we're offering a 13% OFF Halloween special on all books.
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