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Dare to find out about hauntingly ghoulish Halloween traditions from around the world? Hmmm? 
 
Well then, just scroll down and discover what other ghoul's and goblin's in other countries have as a part of their hauntingly good times...

Updated  often !
 
 
Find out about customs in:
China
Czech
Germany
Italy
Japan
 

 

In China the Hallowe'en festival is known as Teng Chieh in which food and water are placed in front of photographs of relatives of people. Bonfires and lanterns are lit to light the spirits path back to earth.

Another Hallowe'en festival is called The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts. In China the souls of the dead, particularly during the seventh lunar month, wander the earth in search of affection. They are known as the hungry ghosts because of their hunger for recognition and care.

The number of souls is usually increased by those who died unnatural deaths, and who may not have been given a proper burial or burial place which their families could visit in order to pay them respect. Other such Hungry ghosts that are abroad during this month are the spirits of people whose families had either died out or who showed no concern for their welfare in the beyond. Bereft of comfort, they feel abandoned and, lacking ancestral worship, may turn malignant and become powerful threats to the living.

The purpose of the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, is dedicated to the earthbound spirits. Its purpose is to make them feel welcome and to satisfy their spiritual hunger. This will placate any possible anger they might have and gain their gratitude.

In the sacred ritual of the day, the spirits are offered joss sticks, food and gifts. The gifts, made of paper, represent objects with which they were familiar while on earth and are intended to make them feel at home. Paper money is burnt on their behalf, to pay for their expenses in the netherworld. Fires are lit to light the way for the hungry ghosts and a gesture of welcome.

In Czechoslovakia chairs are placed by the fireside. There is a chair for each family member and one for each family member’s spirit.

 

In Germany people put their knives away. This is done as they do not want to risk hurting the returning spirits.

In the regions of Bavaria and Austria in Southern Germany, Catholics celebrate the entire period between October 30 and November 8 as Seleenwoche or Alls Souls' Week.

On All Saints' Day Catholics attend church services in honor of the saints, the martyrs and those who have died for the Catholic faith. People may also visit their family’s graves to beautify them with wreaths and small lanterns. Sometimes a mass is said at the gravesite and the grave sprinkled with holy water.

On November 2 or All Souls' Day, Catholics attend a special Requiem masses, where they remember those who may be close to them that have died. Prayers for the dead are said and votive candles are lit to honor their memory.

In Italy they make cakes in the shape of beans. These cakes are called Beans of the Dead.

In Southern Italy families prepare a special feast for the souls of the departed on All Souls' Day. The families would set the table with a bountiful meal. Then they would all go to church to pray for the souls of the deceased. They stayed there all day, leaving their home open so that the spirits could enter and enjoy the feast.

When the family came home to find that their offerings hadn't been consumed it meant that the spirits disapproved of their home and would work evil against them during the coming year.

In Italy November 1 has become a public holiday.

On All Saints' Day Catholics attend church services in honor of the saints, the martyrs and those who have died for the Catholic faith. People may also visit their family’s graves to beautify them with wreaths and small lanterns. Sometimes a mass is said at the gravesite and the grave sprinkled with holy water.

On November 2 or All Souls' Day, Catholics attend a special Requiem masses, where they remember those who may be close to them that have died. Prayers for the dead are said and votive candles are lit to honor their memory.

In Japan O-Bon festival celebrates the memory of the dead relatives. Food and water is placed in front of photos of the dead. Bonfires and lanterns light the spirits' path back to earth.

O-Bon celebrated by some people from July 13-15 and others from August 13-15, O-Bon gets its name from the Sanskrit word for "to hang upside down." It refers to a legend about a Buddhist monk who, deep in meditation, was able to "see" his long-dead mother hanging upside down in the Buddhist equivalent of hell. This was her punishment for having eaten meat during her lifetime - a Buddhist taboo - and refusing to repent of it. The monk was holy enough to go to hell and buy his mother's passage to Nirvana with some of his own excess goodness.

On the first day of O-Bon, people decorate their loved ones' graves with fruit, cakes, and lanterns. On the second day, spirit altars or as they are referred to tamadana, are assembled at home: Atop a woven rush mat stand the ancestors' memorial plaques, tempting vegetarian dishes, and cucumbers carved to represent horses on which the spirits are invited to ride. On the third day, whole communities gather for the bon-odori, a hypnotic, slow dance that moves in concentric circles or multiple lines. Hundreds of people often dance together. As evening falls, tiny paper lanterns are set adrift on river or sea: these omiyage gently light the spirits way back to the "other shore".

Buddhist Japanese remember their dead at the time in autumn of equal days and nights. The festival that is celebrated is called Higan. It is a time when people visit the graves of friends and family who are dead. They tidy up the area and think about the dead people.

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C. 2007 Mario D Furtado