Halloween Traditions for a Thai Audience

Sawatdee krup. This post will explore Halloween traditions for a Thai audience. Halloween is said to be the time of the year when the veil between the spiritual and physical worlds is at its thinnest. This holiday takes place on October 31. Halloween is thought to have its origins in the ancient Celtic festivals that marked the end of the harvest year.


Families like to remember their loved ones who have passed on from the world during this time. In the past, many cultures thought the dead could return home for this one night. On the other hand, people also believed that evil spirits could roam the physical world. They would leave offerings of food outside of the home to appease these spirits. Bonfires can scare away the spirits as well.


Halloween jack-o'-lanterns
Jack-O’-Lanterns are extremely popular decorations at Halloween

Today, several traditions remain from the past while others practiced have come much later. In modern times, the entire month of October has become a popular time to watch scary movies. Movie companies even plan new horror movies for release at theaters around this time. Another newer and popular tradition is to visit haunted houses or forests walks that have been created by people looking to provide scary entertainment. Companies give tours where employees jump out of the darkness dressed as ghosts, clowns, or other creepy creatures.


A Chucky doll from the Child's Play movies
Chucky is a possessed doll in the popular Child’s Play movies

Children enjoy Halloween for the tradition of ‘Trick or Treating’. The children wear costumes and knock on a home’s door while saying “Trick or Treat”. The homeowner then hands out candy to the children. Popular costumes include ghosts, demons, werewolves, and other frightening beings. However, nowadays it is also popular to wear costumes that are less scary. Girls may dress as princesses or cute animals such as cats. Meanwhile, boys may dress as their favorite superheroes.


Halloween themed candies
Homeowners hand out candy to children who dress up in costumes.

Halloween is still related to the harvest time. Pumpkins are extremely popular at this time of year. People use knives or other sharp tools to carve out faces in the pumpkin. They can then place a candle or light inside the pumpkin to make the face glow. The names of these pumpkins are jack-o’-lanterns. Some create jack-o’-lanterns that are very detailed such as carvings of entire haunted houses. Homeowners often use hay bales from the wheat harvest for decorating. They also like to decorate with spider webs, ghosts, witches, skulls, and other handmade items.


Frightening Halloween decorations
Frightening Halloween decorations include witches, skulls, and spider webs.

Teenagers and young adults may opt for even scarier traditions. A Ouija board is a piece of wood that includes letters, numbers, and other words written on it. Two or more people hold a piece of plastic or wood surrounding plastic glass called a planchette over the middle of the board. The purpose is to try talking with a spirit by asking questions. A spirit then answers by moving the planchette to spell words or answer questions. Likewise, telling ghost stories is a fun way to frighten friends.


Scary Halloween masks
Scary Halloween costumes are popular with older teenagers, especially boys

Halloween can be both an entertaining and scary time of the year. The holiday is so popular that many people claim it as their favorite. It can be fun to dress up in costume and play games. On the other hand, it is scary to hear ghost stories and watch horror movies. People may celebrate in different ways, yet it remains clear that Halloween is one of the more popular holidays of the year.


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