Halloween Around the World

Halloween has gone global!  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, but I didn’t realize it’s caught on outside America. Have you ever been outside the US for Halloween where people dressed up in costumes?  You might be surprised to learn…in Beijing and Tokyo they dress up and go to costume parties. Do people dress up in costumes and celebrate Halloween in your country?

In the United States, adults still dress up in fun costumes and go to parties (at least 20 and 30-somethings in major cities) on the weekend of Halloween.  In the US it’s a night of role play, where you can make any concept into a fun slutty version just for one evening. Halloween costumes can be funny, sexy, scary, and/or a great character that you loved from that movie/TV show/cartoon/commercial or viral video.

Photo of the costumes from our Halloween parties the past few years

As children we used to dress up and walk from house to house “trick-or-treating” and get candy (the “treat”), and we just kept the costume part of that concept.

What do they do in your country?   How big of an event is it – do most young adults dress up for the weekend of Halloween, or is it mostly just ex-pats getting it started?

History of Halloween and Trick-or-Treating

The concept of trick-or-treating originated in Europe in the 1500’s, but like many other traditions, they experienced an explosion of popularity starting in the US around the 1930’s. If there’s a commercialism angle (a tradition where every family buys costumes and candy), the United States will lead the charge. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc. We didn’t invite them – we found a way to make money from them, and then companies marketed and profited from them.



Thanks to Jojo and Aki for contributing.



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