Halloween has its place in Americans’ hearts with fond memories of trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving and cute costumes. But people celebrate a little differently in other parts of the world.
Here are seven spooky ways people outside of the U.S. celebrate Halloween:
1. Carving beets and turnips instead of pumpkins (The U.K.)
Pumpkins aren’t native to England and Ireland, so the OG jack-o-lanterns were carved into locally grown root vegetables. Some people still keep the tradition alive, though pumpkins are becoming more popular.
2. Leaving a snack out for their dead loved ones (Austria)
Halloween falls during All Saints Week, when the souls of the dead are able to travel back to Earth and visit the living they left behind. In Austria, people are expected to leave out bread and water and leave the lights on all night through the week to welcome the dead back.
3. Hiding all the knives in the house from their dead loved ones (Germany)
Similarly, in Germany, people believe the souls of those who’ve passed come back to Earth during Halloween. Instead of leaving a snack out, they hide all their cutlery so the ghosts won’t hurt themselves.
4. Going door to door asking for prayers instead of candy (The Philippines)
This tradition, called Pangangaluluwa, is quickly being replaced by modern trick-or-treating, but some villages in the Philippines are working hard to revive it. Instead of walking the streets asking for candy, children go door-to-door singing songs and asking for prayers for the souls of those stuck in purgatory.
5. Dia de los Muertos (Mexico)
This tradition is probably one of the most famous worldly Halloween-time celebrations. In keeping with the belief that souls can return to Earth, people from Mexico and some other Latin American countries build shrines for their loved ones decorated with flowers and brightly colored skulls.
6. Celebrating their own special “Halloween” to fight off vampires (Romania)
Lots of tourists travel to Romania for Halloween, but the holiday isn’t a huge deal in Dracula’s motherland. Instead, Romanians celebrate St. Andrews Day on Nov. 29, which they call “the night of vampires.” Supposedly, on this night, vampires come out to dance in the streets, and locals use garlic to protect themselves and their homes from the undead and other illnesses and spells.
7. Having a national costume parade (Japan)
For the last 21 years, nearly 4,000 people have gathered just outside of Tokyo for the Kawasaki Halloween Parade. It’s the biggest parade of its kind in Japan, but not just anyone is allowed to join in. Parade-walkers have to apply to participate months in advance and follow strict guidelines.