OCTOBER is, officially, here, and It is a month of the great holiday that celebrated all over the world. Halloween is one of the world's oldest holidays, it is still celebrated today in several countries around the globe. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, Día de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—honors deceased loved ones and ancestors. In countries such as Ireland, Canada and the United States, adults and children alike revel in the popular Halloween holiday, which derived from ancient festivals and religious rituals. Traditions include costume parties, trick-or-treating, pranks and games. China - celebrates the "Hungry Ghost Festival" in mid-July, when it is customary to float river lanterns to remember those who have died. Sweden - On All Hallow's Eve, a Requiem Mass is widely attended every year at Uppsala Cathedral, part of the Lutheran Church of Sweden. Singapore - around mid-July Singapore Chinese celebrate "Zhong Yuan Jie / Yu Lan Jie" (Hungry Ghosts Festival), a time when it is believed that the spirits of the dead come back to visit their families. Japan - Halloween arrived in Japan mainly as a result of American pop culture. As recently as 2009, it was not appreciated and only celebrated by expats. Philippines - the period from 31 October through 2 November is a time for remembering dead family members and friends. Ireland - A traditional Irish turnip (rutabaga) jack-o'-lantern, c. early 20th century, on display in the Museum of Country Life, Ireland. Italy - In Italy All Saints' Day is a public holiday. On 1 November, Tutti i Morti or All Souls' Day, families remember loved ones who have died. Romania - Romanians observe the Feast of St. Andrew, patron saint of Romania, on 30 November. On St. Andrew's Eve ghosts are said to be about. Russia - In Russia most Christians are Orthodox, and in the Orthodox Church Halloween is on the Saturday after Pentecost and therefore 4-5 months before western Halloween. England - In the past, on All Souls' Eve families would stay up late, and little "soul cakes" were eaten. Scotland - the name Halloween is first attested in the 16th century as a Scottish shortening of the fuller All-Hallows-Even, that is, the night before All Hallows Day. In Ireland, where Halloween originated, the day is still celebrated much as it is in the United States. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they were in the days of the Celts, and all over the country, children get dressed up in costumes and spend the evening “trick-or-treating” in their neighborhoods. After trick-or-treating, most people attend parties with neighbors and friends. At the parties, many games are played, including “snap-apple,” a game in which an apple on a string is tied to a doorframe or tree and players attempt to bite the hanging apple. In addition to bobbing for apples, parents often arrange treasure hunts, with candy or pastries as the “treasure.” The Irish also play a card game where cards are laid face down on a table with candy or coins underneath them. When a child chooses a card, he receives whatever prize is found below it. A traditional food eaten on Halloween is barnbrack, a kind of fruitcake that can be bought in stores or baked at home. A muslin-wrapped treat is baked inside the cake that, it is said, can foretell the eater’s future. If a ring is found, it means that the person will soon be wed; a piece of straw means that a prosperous year is on its way. Children are also known to play tricks on their neighbors, such as “knock-a-dolly,” a prank in which children knock on the doors of their neighbors, but run away before the door is opened.
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