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Throw Some International Flavor into Halloween This Year

Topic: Halloween, Costumes| No Comments »

Got the whole dress-up, trick-or-treat, carved pumpkins, and party the night away routine down? Maybe this Halloween you can spice things up a little bit and throw in some international flavor with the standard traditions and Halloween customs that you’re used to.

As my friends and I have made our travels around the world, we always make it a point to brink back a little culture with us in order to mix things up a bit. Having had the privilege to spend Halloween in other countries several times, I’ve been fascinated with some of the different traditions that our friends around the world have on the day of ghosts and goblins. Whether it be different costumes, foods, activities, or methods of bogeying down at night, adding something different to your Halloween always goes down smooth with family and friends.

Brazil and Mexico were two of my most enjoyable Halloweens and both contain some fun, and spooky, traditions to check out…

Brazil - Dia das Bruxas (Day of the Witches) is not an official holiday in Brazil but it’s being celebrated more and more in some of the larger cities. They do a lot of the standard costume parties and trick-or-treating that we do here in the U.S. However, their costumes are very interesting as their versions of the skeleton, witch, and other spooky Halloween figures were some of the best I have ever seen. They really stick to doing the “scary” thing down there and they do it right. They put a lot of work into making their costumes look as freaky as possible. And as always in Brazil, their holiday parties and barbecues are out of this world and the big grill-fest is one addition that I’ve inserted into my Halloween routine.

Mexico - Mexico does a standard Halloween as influenced by other cultures. What is really interesting and exciting there, is the subsequent celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). This celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November. It gets kind of freaky there with the tradition of going to cemeteries to communicate with the souls of the departed and building private altars containing the favorite foods, drinks, as well as photos of the deceased they visit. With the intent being to encourage visits by the souls of the dead and the fact that there is a very strong belief that this can and does happen, I must say it was an especially eerie night there. Some people believe that possessing “Dia de los Muertos” items can bring good luck, even going as far as tattooing images on their bodies. The main symbol there is the skull and skeleton, and they do some very freaky versions of those costumes. The focus on skulls and skeletons even goes as far as using what I found to be very tasty sugar skulls as gifts that can be given to both the living and the dead.

While I only tapped into a couple of different cultures with Brazil and Mexico, there are a ton of other interesting and enjoyable Halloween customs used around the world that aren’t found in the U.S. If you want your party or gathering to be one hell of a hit this year, mix it up a bit and throw in a little international flavor. You and your crew will be glad you did!

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