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Otherworldly Celebrations to Check Out Around the World

by Angelique Platas

Oct 31, 2017

© Kobby Dagan | Dreamstime

Travel Tips

Día De Los Muertos, Mexico City, Mexico

One of the first international Halloween celebrations you should attend around the world is Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, in Mexico City, Mexico, Oct. 31–Nov. 2. Despite the long history of the Day of the Dead observance in Mexico, the Día de los Muertos festival is only in its second year. Participants dressed in vibrant clothing, sugar skull-painted faces and various costumes parade through the streets to music. Ornate decorations and offerings are placed through the town to commemorate the past lives of loved ones and celebrate them in the afterlife.

Mexican Day of the dead in Mexico city, Dia de los muertos

Photo: Javarman | Dreamstime

 

The hauntingly fun event lights up the city with ghostly fun and excitement, while celebrating life through incredible music, colors, cuisine and the overall vibrancy of the Mexican culture.

 

The Hungry Ghost Festival, China

In Chinese culture, Zhong Yuan Jie, also known as The Hungry Ghost Festival, is an ancient tradition in which spirits are welcomed back to Earth to walk among the living.

Street performance for Chinese Hungry Ghost festival

Street performance for Chinese Hungry Ghost festival. Photo: Nokhook | Dreamstime

 

Ghost Day celebrations vary depending on the region in China, but are typically on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month. Deceased ancestors are believed to come back from the afterlife and join their living relatives for the day. The living often prepare a large spread of food, typically vegetarian, for their deceased loved ones. Some even leave room at the table for homeless spirits with nowhere else to go.

 

There are activities all month leading up to Ghost Day, including floating lanterns on the water at night. This tradition helps guide the lost souls home and welcome them from the underworld.

 

Ghost Festival, Hong Kong

Ghost Festival, Hong Kong. Photo: Seaonweb | Dreamstime

Throughout the month, people burn incense, paper-mâché forms of gold, jewelry and fine clothing as a ritualistic offering for the spirits. The entire event is meant to absolve the suffering of the deceased and allow them one Earthly meeting with their loved ones.

 

There are also quite a few activities not encouraged during Ghost Month, such as buying a new home, moving and getting married.

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