Latin American Halloween

Latin American Halloween

Latin American Halloween

People around the world celebrate Halloween, although, it is not so popular in some places. For example, Latin American Halloween, is not as huge as it is in North America. Halloween is a holiday that many people in Latin America do not know a lot about. In the US and Canada, Halloween is the second most important holiday after Christmas. The traditions around Halloween include decorating houses, trick-and-treating, wearing costumes, and throwing parties. Contrary to the huge celebration in North America, the equivalent celebration in Latin America is very low profile. Except for some countries, in which these festivities have a strong spiritual meaning, like Mexico and Peru. Let’s learn in which Latin American Countries people celebrate Halloween and in which they do not.

Time to party? Who celebrates Halloween?

Halloween celebrations in Latin America have increased over the years. Lately, the nature of the celebration and traditions of American Halloween has been traveling to Latin America. In some places like Chile, Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, and Colombia, the celebration is similar to the one in North America. In these countries, people go around wearing costumes, asking for candy and partying.  They may even carve pumpkins and decorate their houses. These American Halloween traditions have invaded the last days of October in these Latin American countries. People, especially kids, enjoy these traditions and celebrations, and in particular, the candies that come with them. Despite this, Halloween as we know it is not yet part of Latin American culture. The celebration of Latin American Halloween is even smaller than the one for Valentine’s Day.

Who doesn’t celebrate it?

In most Latin American countries the celebration is not as important as it is in North America. In Brazil for example, they do not celebrate Halloween on October 31st because they consider that to be an intrusion of the American culture into their own. Instead, they celebrate the day of Folclor brasileño in São Luis de Paraitinga. In Venezuela, the celebration of American Halloween is limited to some places. On that day some people go to church and pray for the souls of the deceased. However the elders are the ones that practice this the most. In Dominican Republic in general they do not celebrate Halloween and when they do it’s mostly the adults who do so. In Mexico, the celebration is mostly dedicated to “el día de los muertos” including meetings in the graveyards where people leave gifts on the graves of their loved ones.

Día de los muertos. Latin American Halloween


Halloween has multiple names in Latin America. People call it Day of the dead (Día de los muertos), Day of the deceased (Día de los difuntos), Halloween night (Noche de brujas) but some people also refer to it as “Halloween”. In some Latin American countries there are other events that have the same importance that Halloween has in North America. For example, El día de los muertos is a huge celebration in Mexico and Peru. Its spiritual meaning is so important to these societies that the celebrations on this day are almost sacred for Mexican and Peruvian people.


It seems like it is important in every culture to honour the dead. The Latin American Halloween traditions mentioned are proof of that. Halloween is very different in each country but in essence it is based around that same purpose. Even though people all over the world are very different, there is always a celebration that represents an opportunity to show respect and recognition to the departed.  Whether or not you celebrate Halloween, it is a perfect time of year to enjoy the weather and the food of the season.

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