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There's Halloween, But Here's How Other Cultures In The World Celebrate Death!

Did you know that Halloween started out as a festival of the dead? Yes, you read it right! You might very well find it quite difficult to stomach, but several cultures around the world have numerous rituals that celebrate the dead, and death itself. It, of course, makes sense because death is after all a part of life, and it's only reasonable to set aside a day to honour the dead.

There's Halloween, But Here's How Other Cultures In The World Celebrate Death!

There's Halloween, But Here's How Other Cultures In The World Celebrate Death!

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  in Weird

1. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Mexico

1. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Mexico

This is a colorful celebration of the dead. On this night, families gather to clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones. It's also known for its skeleton decorations, candies, and elaborate costumes.

2. Ari Muyang, Malaysia

2. Ari Muyang, Malaysia

This is the way the Mah Meri tribe in Malaysia, who make up a small minority of the country's population, celebrate their dead. It's a day of dancing that's steeped in tradition. Shamans offer blessings before the ceremonies begin.

3. Chuseok, Korea

3. Chuseok, Korea

This is is a three-day harvest festival. But Koreans also use this time every year to honor their dead. Each year, about 30 million people in Korea visit the hometowns of their ancestors to pay homage. People pray, clean the tombs of their immediate ancestors, and offer them food and drink.

4. Pitru Paksha, India (and the Hindu world)

4. Pitru Paksha, India (and the Hindu world)

On this day, Hindu people honor their ancestors as far as seven generations back! They begin by bathing in sacred ponds and rivers, and continue by offering prayers and food to their ancestors as they return from the afterlife for the night to feast.

5. Obon, Japan

5. Obon, Japan

This is a 500-year-old ritual of Buddhists. On this day, families gather to clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones, and then release lanterns to help guide their spirits. The holiday also features a traditional dance.

6. Hungry Ghost Festival, China

6. Hungry Ghost Festival, China

As much badass the name is, it is also a really long festival. It goes on for an entire month! In traditional belief, the seventh month of the lunar calendar is the time when spirits roam the Earth. To appease these ghosts, people burn offerings for them and leave out food.

7. Pchum Ben, Cambodia

7. Pchum Ben, Cambodia

This is one of the most important festivals in Khmer culture. People visit their local temples to pray and make offerings to the dead. Afterwards, everyone celebrates with buffalo races and wrestling.

8. Galungan, Bali

8. Galungan, Bali

The people of Bali believe that this is the night their ancestors revisit their homes. And they're looking to be welcomed and entertained, or else they'll haunt the place! To keep that from happening, huge feasts are prepared in their honor.

9. Gai Jatra, Nepal

9. Gai Jatra, Nepal

Gai Jatra is a festival that honors cows, but it also serves as a time to honor the dead. Talk about irony! Anyway, in this festival, cows are paraded through the streets of Kathmandu - as are children dressed up as cows. The parade is believed to help guide spirits into the afterlife.

10. Guy Fawkes Night, United Kingdom

10. Guy Fawkes Night, United Kingdom

This one does not really qualify as a festival of the dead, but it still does quite close to it in view of the celebration pattern. It is celebrate on November 5, the anniversary of when Guy Fawkes tried (and failed) to blow up Parliament. He's burned in effigy while people parade around wearing masks.

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