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Quirky Traditions

Where will you be this Halloween? If you’re in another country you should consider how they go about celebrating. Most traditions are rather similar across the World, but there are some that are slightly quirkier than the rest. In this post we will pick out our favourite Halloween traditions from across the globe:

In Ireland – where Halloween originated from – all of the traditional antics go on. Children often like to play ‘Knock a Dolly’, a game in which they will knock on a neighbours door in the hope that they will get chased away.

The Irish also enjoy eating ‘Barmbrack’ on Halloween; a yeasted brad containing raisins and sultanas. The bread would traditionally contain a variety of objects such as a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a small coin and a ring. Each item found in a slice would tell a fortune:
Pea – The person will not marry this year.
Stick – The person would either have an unhappy marriage or be in a continual dispute.
Cloth or Rag – The person would have bad luck or be poor.
Coin – The person would have good fortune or be rich.
Ring – The person would be wed within a year.


Doors and windows are left open in Poland to welcome the spirits- they also believe that the spirits roam on Halloween.

In Portugal, people gather to drink wine and eat chestnuts in the cemetery. Sugary cakes with cinnamon and herb flavouring are also very popular on Halloween.

People of Belgium try to avoid black cats, as they’re considered to be bad luck. They also light candles in memory of family and friends that have passed.

is another country that tends to avoid black cats on this day. They also like to indulge in ‘the Bones of the Holy’; a special pastry that was originally popular in Northern Spain, but is now tend to be found across the country on Halloween.

Black cat and gravestone

In Hong Kong, people burn pictures of fruit and money. This is because they believe that on the whole day of Halloween, spirits roam the World. This is said to reach the spirit world and then comfort the ghosts of the dead.

‘Teng Chieh’ is celebrated in China, where people will place food and water in front of photos of their dead friends and relatives- which is a tradition also used in Japan. Bonfires and lanterns are also lit, which apparently lights the spirits path back to earth.


‘Beans of the Dead’ are made in Italy on Halloween; small bean-shaped, almond flavoured cakes. Children get very excited about these, as the only other day these cakes are around would be on All Soul’s Day.

A lot of people are Bobbing for Apples in Scotland. Also known as Apple Dookin’ or Apple Bobbin’, this is a very popular game on Halloween.

The Day of the Dead is celebrated on November 1st & 2nd in Haiti. Celebrations include performing rituals in honour of ancestors and voodoo spirits.

Halloween originated in Ireland - which was then adopted by America - and is now becoming increasingly popular throughout Europe and the rest of the World. So no matter where you are this Halloween, you can be sure there will be some sort of celebration!

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