Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the United States, with nearly a quarter of all the candy sold annually in the U.S. purchased for Halloween, according to History.com.
CCTV America Digital Team takes a look at Halloween celebrations here in Washington.
DC Halloween 2015 Costume ShowcaseCCTV America Digital Team takes a look at Halloween celebrations here in Washington.
As one of the world’s oldest holidays, Halloween can be traced to an ancient Celtic pagan festival known as “Samhain,” which was celebrated over 2,000 years ago.
Track the evolution of Halloween over time:
But Halloween isn’t just an American tradition – similar holidays are celebrated across the globe. Here’s how people around the world celebrate their version of Halloween:
Europe: Ireland, England, Germany
In Ireland, where Halloween originated, people celebrate the holiday by lighting bonfires, dressing in costumes, and trick-or-treating in their neighborhoods. Here are some more notable Irish Halloween traditions:
In England, some call Halloween “Mischief Night.” It’s also known as “Nutcracker Night” or “Snap Apple Night,” according to jackolanterns.net.
The tradition of “souling” also original in the United Kingdom and is a version of “trick or treating.” Children would go door to door, singing songs and saying prayers for the dead in return for sould cakes or money, according to Nicholas Rogers in his book “Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night.”
Churches in England also celebrate All Souls Day on Nov. 2 which is dedicated to souls who are still in purgatory. At night, households burn candles that they believe will help guide souls back to their home. They’ll also leave a glass of wine on the table for refreshment for the souls.
Halloween celebrations have also become increasingly popular.
Photo: Halloween in England
How do people in England celebrate their Halloween?
"We went trick or treating far too late and all the grannies were scared of us."(Flickr/Ellott Brown) [img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-england-halloween/thumbs/thumbs_ellott-brown.jpg]2160Carve a heart
pumpkin - Bullring - Halloween. (Flickr/Ellott Brown)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-england-halloween/thumbs/thumbs_4069781999_ff901081a4_o.jpg]2050Littlehampton Bonfire Night
Littlehampton Bonfire Night. (Flickr/Leonora Enking)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-england-halloween/thumbs/thumbs_5137996790_cdf56aabf5_o.jpg]1940Pumpkin head
Flickr/Leonora Enking[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-england-halloween/thumbs/thumbs_afp.jpg]1800BRITAIN-HALLOWEEN-HISTORY-TURNIP-OFFBEAT
A handout picture released by English Heritage on October 26, 2015 shows a man posing as he carves a turnip into the shape of a face at Dover Castle, southern england on October 20, 2015, ahead of Halloween. Britons should go back to the indigenous tradition of carving turnips instead of using pumpkins for Halloween even though they are harder to cut, the conservation charity English Heritage said on October 26. (AFP PHOTO / ENGLISH HERITAGE / CHRISTOPHER ISON) [img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-england-halloween/thumbs/thumbs_afp2.jpg]1750BRITAIN-HALLOWEEN-HISTORY-TURNIP-OFFBEAT
A combination of handout pictures released by English Heritage on October 26, 2015 shows carved turnip faces at Dover Castle, southern england on October 20, 2015, ahead of Halloween. Britons should go back to the indigenous tradition of carving turnips instead of using pumpkins for Halloween even though they are harder to cut, the conservation charity English Heritage said on October 26. (AFP PHOTO / ENGLISH HERITAGE / CHRISTOPHER ISON)
Halloween celebrations are somewhat new in Germany. It was not generally observed in the country prior to the 1990s, but has been increasing in popularity.
Germans celebrate Halloween as All Saints Day from Oct. 30 to Nov. 8 in southern Germany. Children continue to celebrate St. Martin’s Day on Nov. 11, when they walk around their neighborhood with lanterns, singing songs, and reciting poems in exchange for treats, wrote Nicolette Stewart.
Germans also hide their knives on Halloween night to prevent harm from returning spirits.
North America: Canada
Scottish immigrants brought the Scottish version of Halloween, celebrated on Oct. 31, to Canada.
According to Rogers, the earliest known reference to the ritual begging during Halloween took place in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street “guising” on Halloween between 6-7 p.m., visiting shops and neighbors to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs.
Halloween is also a time for charitable contributions. Up until 2006, when UNICEF moved to an online donation system, collecting small change for was big part of Canadian trick-or-treating, according to Marika McKenzie.
Interesting fact: In 2014 the hamlet of Arviat, Nunavut moved their Halloween festivities to a community hall, canceling the practice of door-to-door trick or treating due to the risk of roaming polar bears, as CBS News reported.
South America: Brazil, Mexico and Latin America
Halloween is not a Brazilian holiday, but in Rio de Jainero, Halloween parties can be found in most of the restaurants, bars, and clubs. Some Brazilians also leave a basin and towel on the street so the spirits can clean themselves.
Mexico and Latin America
Among some Spanish-speaking nations, Halloween is known as “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) or All Souls’ Day, and is celebrated from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
The holiday is embraced across Mexico, even in the smallest of villages and is meant to remember the deceased who are believed to return to their homes on Halloween. Families and friends visit the graves of relatives. There will be skull-shape candies, music, dancing, and parades.
Photo: Day of the Dead
Among Spanish-speaking nations, Halloween is known as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) or All Souls' Day, and is celebrated from October 31 through November 2.
Skull Couture. (Flickr/Duchess Flux)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_andrew-rollinger.jpg]2050Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead(Flickr/Andrew Rollinger)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_aptopix-mexico-hallow_murp.jpg]1930Mexico Halloween
In this Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015 photo, latex masks depicting Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, hang out to dry in the Caretas REV costume maker plant, in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The Mexican costume maker says prison jumpers and latex masks of the mustachioed, twice-escaped drug kingpin are selling like hotcakes. The company has produced more than 2,600 of the masks this month, many of them for export to the U.S. and Canada. (AP Photo/Tony Rivera)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_auntie-p.jpg]1800Hallowe'en
(Flickr/Auntie P)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_calaveras-buddha.jpg]1710Calaveras + Buddha
Two decorated Calaveras - Mexican skulls celebrating El Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead - next to a head of Buddha - all for sale in a supermarket in Ashland, Oregon.(Flickr/Miguel Tejada-Flores)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_day-of-the-dead-graffiti.jpg]1640Day of the Dead graffiti
(Flickr/duncan c)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_ingrid-truemper.jpg]1600El Día de los Muertos parade, Albuquerque
(Flickr/Ingrid Truemper)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_kathy.jpg]1560Day of the Dead
"On November 1 and 2, Mexicans and many others world wide celebrate the Day of the Dead, a holiday in honor of deceased ancestors."(Flickr/Kathy)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_kiss-of-the-dead.jpg]1550Kiss of the Dead
(Flickr/Geoff Livingston)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_mark.jpg]1460Día de los Muertos
2012 Día de los Muertos - San Francisco(Flickr/--Mark--)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_mexico-halloween_murp-1.jpg]1390Mexico Halloween
In this Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015 photo, a worker airbrushes a mustache on a latex mask in the likeness of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman at Caretas REV, a company specializing in manufacturing costumes, in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The Mexican costume maker says prison jumpers and latex masks of the mustachioed, twice-escaped drug kingpin are selling like hotcakes. Caretas has produced more than 2,600 of the masks this month, many of them for export to the U.S. and Canada. (AP Photo/Tony Rivera)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_mexico-halloween_murp.jpg]1350Mexico Halloween
In this Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015 photo, a worker airbrushes a mask depicting Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump, in the Caretas REV costume maker plant, in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The company, which ships its costumes to Mexico and the U.S., is gearing up for the Halloween season with two new and very popular products: The Donald Trump mask, and the El Chapo costume that includes a striped prison jumper representing the mustachioed, twice-escaped drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman. (AP Photo/Tony Rivera)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_rick-bolin.jpg]1321Day of the Dead
(Flickr/Rick Bolin)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_rob-sheridan-2.jpg]1260Day of the Dead
(Flickr/Rob Sheridan)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_rob-sheridan-3.jpg]1230Day of the Dead
(Flickr/Rob Sheridan)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_rob-sheridan.jpg]1220Day of the Dead
(Flickr/Rob Sheridan)[img src=http://www.cctv-america.com/wp-content/flagallery/photo-day-of-the-dead/thumbs/thumbs_ted-mcgrath.jpg]11402014 - Chihuahua City - Dia de los Muertos 1 of 2
Our Copper Canyon tour group arrived in Chihuahua City 01 November in time for the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebration in Plaza Mayor.(Flickr/Ted McGrath)
Asia: China, Japan, and Korea
Australia and New Zealand
Halloween is becoming more popular, especially among the young, in Australia and New Zealand.
Businesses sell holiday-themed products while some organizations hold fundraising activities. Trick-or-treat adventures, costumes, and Halloween parties are also part of the celebrations.
According to jackolanterns.net, the village of Igbo, Nigeria celebrates the “Odo Festival” which marks the return the the odo, or the dead. People make different masks for the spirits to return and dwell with the living. They are allowed to roam the earth for six months before returning to their graves for two years, according to crowdersentry.com.