Halloween and Day of the Dead share several similarities, including decorating with images of skeletons, ghosts, and the deceased as well as consuming sweets like candy and chocolate. These holidays have different origins, but both pay tribute to spirits and celebrate death and the afterlife.Continue Reading
Halloween originates in ancient Celtic culture. Although celebrated in the United States and other European nations around the world, its origins date back to ancient Britain and France, when citizens recognized the emergence of the Celtic New Year on November 1st. Historically, October 31st marked a transitional period when the lines between the living world and spiritual world blurred. October 31st remains the day of celebration for Halloween worldwide, although it no longer holds the same religious importance.
Day of the Dead, however, stresses religious significance, and falls on November 1st. Like Halloween, Day of the Dead blurs the line between the living world and spiritual world. In addition to falling at the same time of year, both holidays involve food and clothing. For Halloween, people dress as characters and spirits. In Day of the Dead celebrations, people decorate the graves of loved ones with photographs and blankets. People celebrating both holidays enjoy candies, sweets and the company of friends and family.Learn more about Holidays
Some participants in the Day of Dead procession wear outfits that honor their deceased loved ones, traditional Spanish formal wear, Victorian gowns, vintage black lace, and suits or tuxedos with top hats, capes and canes. Many wear a skeleton costume either alone or in addition to formal wear.Full Answer >
Brazil officially observes Day of the Dead on the first two days of November, rather than Halloween. Brazil Travel Northeast reports, however, that costume parties and the trick-or-treat custom are slowly gaining popularity in larger cities. Brazil has no official reason to ignore the holiday, but instead is bound by an ancient Aztec tradition.Full Answer >
The word "Halloween" is a corruption of "All Hallows' Eve," the day before All Saints' Day, and it was initially a Catholic high feast day as well as a minor Celtic feast day. Medieval Catholics believed this was the night spirits were free to roam the earth.Full Answer >
The modern tradition of passing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween is likely based on the medieval custom of "souling" on All Souls' Day. Early Christians made currant-topped desserts called "soul cakes" to honor their dead on All Souls' Day, and children would walk from house to house singing for the cakes. The children agreed to pray for the dead relatives of each person that gave them a soul cake.Full Answer >