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Difference between Halloween and Vietnamese ghost month

Halloween, the most anticipated holiday of October, although originated from Western culture, is starting to migrate and adapted by more and more Eastern countries. On the day, candies are being stocked up, decoration is being hung and the excitement is going up, Halloween’s spirit has already been in the air since October begins and has no sigh of cooling down. However, as much as the traditional concept of the holiday is still being reserved through its spreading, Eastern Halloween versus Western Halloween is much different from each other. How different you may ask? Well, this article will answer that question for you.

Halloween is believed to be the day when the dead and the living come together on Earth. More than a thousand years ago the Christian church named November 1st “All Saints Day” (also called All Hallows.) This was a special holy day to honor the saints and other people who died for their religion. The night before All Hallows was called Hallows Eve. Later the name was changed to Halloween. These days Halloween is not usually considered a religious holiday. It is primarily a fun day for children. Children dress up in costumes like people did a thousand years ago. But instead of worrying about evil spirits, they go from house to house. They knock on doors and say "trick or treat." The owner of each house gives candy or something special to each trick or treater.

Saigon Halloween-Trick or Treat?

But since its migration to Eastern culture, instead being a children holiday, Halloween becomes more and more popular to adults, especially young adults, who see Halloween as an occasion for relaxation and fun. Sure, it may not be celebrated in its traditional ways and not as important like its Western’s counterpart; nevertheless, the holiday still manages to capture everybody’s longing and excitement.

In Western cultures, Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising), attending Halloween costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing and divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films and so on. In Eastern countries however, we don’t have that many things to do.
Since the holiday was not from our tradition, we can only adapt a few well-known activities. In the past, Halloween was just more than an excuse for young people to go out and have fun (like we did with Christmas and Valentine). We don’t trick or treat, we don’t play prank, crave pumpkins and all that kind of stuff. But now, Halloween is slowly become a legitimate holiday with its full on glory.

Take Vietnam for an example, on Halloween, people all rush to the street to hang out or parade with friends, they dress up as much as they can, go out all night if they could and having as much fun as any Westerners. The most and properly the crowded area in Ho Chi Minh City (like any other big cities) is the center. Bui Vien Street, Ho Chi Minh backpacker area, will be the place to go if you want to experiment the true spirit of the holiday. Lights will be up all night and there will be many “ghosts” as well as “devils” wandering along the street, they will “gladly” give you a minor heart attack by suddenly jump out and scare you, and they will laugh with you when you realize it was all for good fun.

Halloween Costumes

All and all, Halloween is still a wonderful holiday no matter what culture it’s in. October 31st is right around the corner and you can feel the anticipate starts to building up. Tiger tour hope you have a fantastic Halloween and “beware of something wicked in the air.”

By Yen Ha

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