With the upcoming holiday fast approaching, it’s easy to get caught up with all of our own wonderful Halloween traditions, but have you ever wondered how this spooky day is celebrated around the world? Read on and learn the old Halloween superstitions from around the globe!
First celebrated by the Irish, Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which means “summer’s end” in Gaelic. It may seem like it’s all about costumes and candies nowadays, but Halloween also has deep roots in spooky superstitions since its beginning, dating back about 2000 years ago. Read on to find out the old Halloween superstitions from around the world.
17 Old Halloween Superstitions From Around The World
It said that on Halloween day, the boundaries of the living and the dead overlapped and the dead could return back to cause chaos in the living world.
Because of this, many cultures around the world celebrate the dead and pray for their souls on this day to be able to rest in peace for all eternity. The Halloween superstitions from around the world are all fascinating and will surely give you that spooky chill that we all crave during this festive season.
image via bjws
The old Celtic custom was to light bonfires on Halloween, and after these had worn out to make a circle of the ashes of each fire. Just inside this circle, every individual from the different families that had made a fire would put a stone.
In the event that, on the following day, any stone was out of its place, or had been harmed, it was held to be an indication that the one who owned the disrupted stone would die within twelve months.
In Germany, people also pray for the souls of their dead at Halloween. What is special, however, is that they additionally put all the knives of the house away. This is done because they do not want to risk harm befalling the returning spirits.
image via triphobo
China’s Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh. This festival celebrates the dead, in which they offer food and water to the photos of the deceased. They also light lanterns in order to light the way of the spirits as they travel the earth on Halloween night.
image via tails of wonders
In Mexico, Halloween is celebrated on a large scale and is known as “El Dia de los Muertos.” It is a joyous and happy holiday that starts on October 31st and ends on November 2nd.
It is a time to remember friends and family who have died, who are believed to come home during Halloween. They create altars in their homes and decorate it with candles, flowers and favorite foods of their deceased.
image via oxford culture mania
In Austria, some people will leave a lighted lamp, bread, and water on the table before retiring on Halloween night. Such things will welcome the souls back to earth on a night, which for the Austrians, was thought to overflow with cosmic energies.
6. Hong Kong
image via HK digit
The Halloween festivity in Hong Kong is known as “Yue Lan” (Festival of the Hungry Ghosts) and is a period when it is believed that spirits wander the world for twenty-four hours. A few people burn pictures of fruit, believing these pictures would reach the spirit world and convey solace to the ghosts.
In Czechoslovakia, chairs are set by the fireside. There is a chair for every relative and one for every relative’s soul.
In Scotland, the custom is to peel an apple and toss the peel behind you. It is believed that the shape that the peel reveals will become the primary letter of your future spouse’s name.
9. UK and North America
In numerous parts of UK and North America, it is believed that if a young, unmarried individual gazes into a dull mirror, they will locate their future life partner behind their shoulder. However, if the spouse is going to pass on soon, people are likely to find a skeleton looking back at them.
Medieval legends additionally depicted bats as witches’ familiars, and seeing a bat on Halloween was thought to be a significant threatening sign. One myth was that if a bat was spotted flying around one’s home three times, it implied that somebody in that house would die soon.
Another myth was that if a bat flew into your home on Halloween, it was an indication that your home was haunted because ghosts had given the bat access.
11. Black Cats
As Halloween superstitions go, this one is fairly well known. It said that a black cat is a symbol of bad luck, as the medieval myth goes that Satan turned himself into a cat when socializing with witches. The black cat’s bad reputation dates back to the Dark Ages when witch hunts were commonplace.
Spiders are known to be a common source of fear. Spiders make for dreadful, crawly Halloween staples. They join the ranks of bats and black cats in folklore as being evil associates of witches during medieval times.
One superstition is that if a spider falls into a lit candle and is devoured by the fire, witches are close-by. Furthermore, on the off chance that you detect a creepy spider on Halloween, it implies that the soul of a deceased loved one is watching over you.
The traditional image of a worn witch with a pointy black hat and warty nose blending a supernatural potion in her cauldron really originates from a pagan goddess known as “the crone” who was respected during Samhain.
The crone was also called “the old one” and the “Earth mother,” who symbolized knowledge, change, and the turning of the seasons.
14. Halloween Birthdays
It is said that children born on Halloween have the gift of both seeing and talking to spirits.
15. Hearing Footsteps
image via drodd
Another Halloween superstition is that if you hear footsteps behind you on this day, don’t dare to look back. It is Death and soon you will be dead.
image via wikipedia
The act of holding ones breath while driving by a cemetery prevents evil spirits from entering your body. Additionally, at the point when passing a burial ground or a house where somebody has died, turn your pockets inside out to ensure you don’t bring home the ghost in your pocket.
Another old superstition reveals that if a body is moved to a different grave from its original, it will be claimed by the devil.
17. Fancy To Meet A Witch
On the eve of Halloween, put your clothes on inside out and walk backwards. This is said to help the person meet a witch.
Want to learn the Halloween history? Let’s watch this video from National Geographic
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