Halloween in different countries
Halloween and its floral amulets
Halloween is one of the most colorful and mysterious holidays in world culture. Different countries celebrate it in different ways, investing unique meanings and traditions. But despite the differences, one of the common elements of the celebration remains flowers and plants, each of which carries its own symbol and meaning.
USA: Pumpkin as a holiday symbol
Pumpkin in the United States is not only associated with Thanksgiving treats, but also becomes an integral attribute of Halloween. The symbolism of the pumpkin on this holiday lies in Irish folklore, where a cunning blacksmith named Jack once tricked the devil, and, was cursed to roam the Earth with his lantern carved from beets. When the Irish came to America, they discovered that the local pumpkins were much easier to carve and turned them into "Jack's lamps" or Jack-o'-lanterns. Now huge fields of pumpkins in the US are designed specifically for carving different faces and figures out of them, illuminating them from within with candles and creating a mysterious Halloween atmosphere.
Ireland: Halloween and the Celtic Tradition
Ireland, as the cradle of Halloween, retains a deep and indigenous tradition of celebrating the holiday, which has its origins in the festival of Samhain, a Celtic celebration marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It was believed that on this night the line between the worlds of the living and the dead became especially thin, and the souls of the departed could visit the earth. The Irish carved scary faces in beets and potatoes to ward off evil spirits. Modern traditions include decorating homes, holding costume parades, and "trick-or-treating" - going around the neighborhood in search of candy. Although pumpkin is an American innovation, the Irish were quick to embrace it as a link to their roots and traditional holiday imagery.
Mexico: Day of the Dead and colorful floristry
Day of the Dead, or "Día de Muertos," in Mexico is not just an analog of Halloween, but a unique holiday that combines Native American traditions and Catholic beliefs. Held on November 1 and 2, it is a time when families honor deceased relatives by having picnics at gravesites and creating bright and rainbow-colored altars in homes. Flowers play a key role in these celebrations, especially daisies. The bright orange daisies, or flowers of the dead ("cempasúchil"), are believed to help souls find their way back home. Bouquets of these flowers, petals forming paths, and even floral arches are an important part of the decorations.
Italy: All Saints Festival and chrysanthemums
In Italy, Halloween is not as popular as in America; here, the focus is more on All Saints' Day (November 1) and the Day of Remembrance of the Dead (November 2). During this period, Italians often visit cemeteries to honor the departed by leaving flowers on their graves. Chrysanthemums have become a symbol of remembrance of the deceased in Italian culture, and so bouquets and arrangements of these flowers are especially popular on these days. And while chrysanthemums are sometimes seen as a symbol of death, they can also be an expression of support and sympathy for the deceased and their families during difficult moments of reflection.
Halloween in Ukraine: A Mix of Tradition and Innovation
Although Halloween is not a traditional holiday for Ukraine, in recent decades this holiday has been actively introduced into Ukrainian culture, especially among young people and in major cities. Here, Halloween is mostly celebrated as a light and fun event, with a focus on masquerades, parties and, of course, decorating houses and streets.
Decorations and Symbols of the Holiday
Pumpkins turned into Jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, witches and ghosts have all become popular Halloween symbols and decorations in Ukraine. Pumpkins are often carved to create varied and colorful arrangements, which are then displayed prominently.
Events and Parties
Halloween parties and events are held in cafes, clubs and other entertainment venues. Costume parades and best-dressed contests are also becoming increasingly popular.
Halloween flowers are a bridge between worlds
Flowers have a special meaning in cultures around the world, and this is reflected in the traditions of Halloween and similar holidays. Whether it's the brightly colored daisies of Day of the Dead in Mexico, chrysanthemums in Italy on All Saints' Day, or lotus flowers on Japan's Obon, flowers become the bridge that connects us to the world of the deceased. They express respect, remembrance and gratitude to those who have gone, remaining an important part of rituals and traditions. Flowers allow us to express feelings and emotions where words may not be able to convey the depth of our experiences, providing colorful and meaningful moments of communication between the living and the departed.