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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: HALLOWEEN AROUND THE WORLD PART II

Sunday, July 18, 2010

HALLOWEEN AROUND THE WORLD PART II

  1. Japan-the Japanese celebrate the "Obon Festival" (also known as "Matsuri" or "Urabon") which is similar to our Halloween in that it is dedicated to the spriits of ancestors.  Special foods are made and bright red lanterns are hung.  The lanterns are lit and then set afloat on the different waterways.  During the "Obon Festival", a fires is lit every night in order to show the ancestors where their families might be found.  "Obon" is one of the main occasions during the Japanese year when the dead are believed to return to their birthplaces.  Memorial stones are cleaned and dances performed.  The festival takes place during July or August.
  2. Korea-their festival is know as "Cusok."  It's at this time that families thank their ancestor for the fruits of their labor.  Families pay respect to these ancestors by visiting their tombs and making offerings of rice and fruits.  It takes place in August.
  3. Mexico, Latin America and Spain-Halloween is know as "El Dia de los Muertos."  It is a joyous and happy holiday, it is a time to remember friends and family who have died.  Commemorated on November 2 (All Souls' Day), the three day celebration actually begins on the evening of October 31.  It is to honor the dead who are believed to return to their homes on Halloween, many families construct an altar in their home and decorated it with candy, flowers, photos, fresh water and favorite foods and drinks of the deceased.  A basin and towel are left out in order that the spirit can wash before indulging in the feast.  Candles and incense are burned to help the departed find their way home.  Families also clean up the gravesites of their deceased family members.  The grave is then adorned with flowers, wreaths or streamers.  Many times, a live person is placed inside a coffin, which is then paraded through the streets while people toss fruit, flowers and candies into it.  On November 2, relatives gather at the gravesite to picnic and reminisce.  During some of these gathering people may even partake in drinking tequila and mariachi bands will play.  American Halloween is gradually taking over this celebration. 
  4. Sweden-"Alla Helgon Dag" is celebrated from October 31st to November 6th.  "Alla Helgons Dag" has an eve which is either celebrated or becomes a shortened working day.  The Friday prior to All Saint's Day is a short day for colleges and school-age children are given a day of vacation.

  

2 comments:

  1. Very cool! Really enjoying this world tour! :)

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your comments, sorry I haven't responded to any. I just remebered about this a couple of days ago.

    ReplyDelete