In the US, Halloween is a fun holiday centered around costumes, horror movies, and candy. Countries around the world celebrate either Halloween or other holidays commemorating the spirits of the dead, because the end of the growing season in autumn reminds us of our own mortality. Some of those traditions are a bit like the American Halloween, such as the Kawasaki Halloween Parade in Japan.
At the end of every October for the past 21 years, nearly 4000 costumed Halloween enthusiasts from all around the world have gathered in Kawasaki, just outside Tokyo, for the Kawasaki Halloween Parade, which is the biggest parade of its kind in Japan. However, not everyone can simply join in the festivities. The Kawasaki Halloween Parade has strict guidelines and standards, so you have to apply for entry two months before the parade begins.
While the party aspect of Halloween is spreading, many places mark holidays that are more somber, or even religious, as they pay respect to the departed. Read about the widely-varying traditions of Halloween or Halloween-like holidays at Mental Floss.
(Image credit: Flickr user Hideya HAMANO)