Halloween around the world in 2024

  How long until Halloween?
  Dates of Halloween around the world
2025 InternationalOct 31
International Fri, Oct 31Not A Public Holiday
2024 InternationalOct 31
International Thu, Oct 31Not A Public Holiday
2023 InternationalOct 31
International Tue, Oct 31Not A Public Holiday
2022 InternationalOct 31
International Mon, Oct 31Not A Public Holiday
2021 InternationalOct 31
International Sun, Oct 31Not A Public Holiday

Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of the Halloween festival.

When is Halloween?

On October 31st, many of your colleagues in North America may dress up as monsters and visit neighbours' houses in search of sweets.

The reason for this strange behaviour is Halloween, the unique tradition of celebrating all things scary each year which is now gaining popularity across the world.

History of Halloween

Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of the Halloween festival. The Irish tradition dates back to the eighteenth century.

Halloween takes its roots from the old Celtic festival, Samhain Eve, when it was believed that the link between the worlds of the living and dead was at its strongest. Some scholars believe that Samhain (pronounced sow-in) was the Celtic new year. Samhain means Summer's End and was essentially a harvest festival and a time to ask for supernatural support to get through the coming winter.

Many of the Celtic Halloween traditions live on in Ireland today and were brought to America by Irish immigrants in the nineteenth century.

Nowadays, Halloween has grown to become the second-largest commercial holiday in the United States.


The legend of Jack O’lantern also goes back to the eighteenth century.

The legend is that an Irish blacksmith called Jack was denied entry to Heaven after he has was found to have colluded with the Devil. He was condemned to wander the Earth and his only light was a lump of burning coal inside a hollowed-out turnip. The villagers believed that placing a Jack O’lantern in their window would keep the damned soul of the wandering blacksmith away.

When the Irish immigrants arrived in America and tried to carry on the tradition they found there were not enough turnips and so they resorted to using pumpkins instead.

Trick or treating

In Ireland and England, people would dress in ghost and goblin costumes to confuse the spirits that they believed wandered the Earth on this night so that they would not think they were human and leave them alone.

Halloween Quiz

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The Sweetest Holiday?

In 2019, the National Confectioners Association put together some facts about candy at Halloween:

  • Candy corn and chocolate are American's top two favourite Halloween treats.
  • 85% of Americans who give out candy for Halloween choose miniature treats.
  • Almost 80% of parents say they enjoy some of the treats their children collect on Halloween night.
  • 96% of Americans think sharing seasonal treats is a great holiday tradition.
  • 94% of Americans believe that chocolate and candy make holidays like Halloween more fun.
  • The confectionery industry generates $35 billion in retail sales per year, which includes Halloween treats. In 2018, the Halloween season totalled about $4.5 billion in chocolate and candy sales.
  • One confectionery manufacturing job supports 10 other American jobs in related industries.

In unrelated news, October is also Dental Hygiene Month in the US.

Five Fiendish but Family-friendly Halloween Movies

What better way to spend your Bank Holiday Monday, than by binging some of your favorite, old-school Halloween movies? Here's a rundown of just some of the best flicks to get you in the spooky mood.

1. Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus is feel-good, magical and set in Salem, Massachusetts. You will love rooting for heroes Dani, Max, Allison and Binx nearly as much as they'll enjoy enthusiastically booing the witch trio led by the brilliant Bette Midler.

2. Casper

Casper was so lovable he had us all wishing we could live in a mad old house in America just so we could hang out with him. Funny and packed full of heart, Casper is the perfect Halloween flick.

3. Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice is a bona fide Halloween classic. With wacky characters, mad as a brush Betelgeuse and laughs aplenty, it’s definitely one the kids will love as much as we do.

4. The Addams Family

Gloriously weird, The Addams Family is pure Halloween magic. From the first bars of the theme tune you'll will be hooked into the family’s wildly imaginative world.

5. The Witches

Anjelica Huston is brilliantly spooky as the Grand High Witch in the original film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book. The much-loved author’s special skill is making children see things in a different way, and it is truly brilliant!

Sit back, relax and enjoy these spooky classics!

Did you know?

Three facts about Halloween

The word witch comes from the old English word 'wicce' meaning 'wise woman'. According to popular belief, witches held one of their eight meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend an average of $74.34 per (adult) person on candy, costumes, and decor.

With 2 million annual visitors, 50,000 of which are in costume, the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is the largest Halloween celebration in the world.

More facts about Halloween

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