- 27 October 2017
- Posted by: Team for Youth Association
- Category: Volunteering Stories
Halloween in Austria
In Austria, the end of October and beginning of November are filled with free days and traditions. On October 26th, we celebrate our national holiday. On this day in 1955, the Austrian parliament decided that Austria would be a neutral state and not engage in any wars – ironically, a part of the celebrations is an exhibition of the tanks and airplanes of the military.
Then on November 1st and November 2nd, we celebrate ”All Saints’ Day” and ”All Souls’ Day”, traditionally by visiting the graves of family members at the cemeteries. As these three holidays are so close together, some schools give their students a week off.
Halloween does not have a long tradition in Austria. Austrian people just valued the Christian elements of ”All Saints’ Day” more than the pagan traditions that influenced Halloween. However, in recent years American and British TV shows have gained influence, and some people decide to throw a party on the occasion, or some kids go trick or treating. There’s a lot of people complaining about “importing American traditions” though – but others are just happy for an opportunity to dress up in a crazy costume (even though on November 11th, the Austrian Carnival season starts). (Sarah P.)
Halloween is not exactly traditional in Austria, but there are celebrations every year. Children dress up in costumes and go to strangers’ houses asking for sweets. This American custom has become so popular in my country that it is now considered a tradition by the Austrian government, which allowed wearing masks for Halloween. (In Austria, wearing face coverings in public is forbidden, except in some situations like traditional events.) (Rosa L.)
Halloween in Spain
We don’t celebrate Halloween that much. It’s true that each year is getting more importance and there are more people who make costumes and parties to celebrate it, but we don’t have any official party. Instead of this we have a tradition on first of November. This day is free for us, and we use to go to the cemetery to visit our dead relatives and we put some flowers on their gravestones. After some families go to lunch together and that’s all. (Jorge M.E.)
We have a holiday in the 1st of November, when it’s the day for remembering relatives and friends who died. It’s named: Dia de Todos los Santos, literally translated like the ”day of the saints”. Following the tradition, this day people go to cemeteries to put flowers, and there’s a special Eucharistic in the church. But in the last years this is not so popular. Of course we know it, but the ones who still go every year are (the majority) old people. Younger generations simply use this day to rest at home.
Also this day we have two special sweets: huesos de santo (translated like saint’s bones) and buñuelos de viento (fritters of wind). You can see them in a lot of bakeries this day, although this is a tradition that we are losing too. But, traditions apart, in Spain is being typical to use costumes and celebrate parties (like in clubs, but also at home or in the streets) during the night of 31 with friends, just for fun. Also there are some activities, all with ”fear” as topic. Although this is fun, and a lot of people participate in these parties, Halloween is just something that we are copying from USA movies and their traditions. (Inma C.S.)
Halloween in Lithuania
There is not so much to say about Halloween in Lithuania. The main reason of it is a lack of its popularity. And it is not popular, because our culture is very respectful towards death. That’s why most of the people have no intention to make fun out of it. Except some young people, who never hesitate to party. And it is just one more party for them. Although it is daring, but fair enough to say it, because no one in Lithuania celebrates just Halloween and no other holiday, unlike during Christmas and New Year. Those people are normally wearing death’s, devil’s costume, blood, scarf imitations painted on their bodies. Halloween is too daring for and too distant from the Lithuanian culture to be commonly accepted and become a massive event in our country. (Skaiste P.)
We don’t have tradition to celebrate Halloween in Lithuania. However, if somebody wants to make thematic party, it’s not forbidden. The 1st of November we have ”All Saints” day. This day all families go to the cemetery to put candles on tombs and to remember people who are dead. The River of Souls is traditional event in Kaunas center (Lithuania) on the first night of November. Anyone who does not have the opportunity to visit the tombs of the dead, are invited to light a candlestick in the city of Kaunas from the Old Town to Laisvės avenue, in the charming candle river.
Skaiste and Juste (Lithuania), Rosa and Sarah (Austria), Jorge and Inma (Spain) are hosted in Baia Mare by Team for Youth Association, in the “IN4EVS” project, an European Voluntary Service financed by the European Commission through the Erasmus Plus Program.