Halloween around the world

Whilst Halloween falls on the 31st of October and remains one of the most popular holidays in Western countries, there are many unique differences to how and when Halloween is celebrated in various markets around the world. In true Halloween spirit – and with a little help from our Croudie Network – we’ve shared some of the most interesting Halloween celebrations across the globe.


Compared to other festivals originating from the west such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, Halloween remains a niche western date without prevalent popularity in China. Even though many international brands have tried all kinds of ways to localise their Halloween narratives to become relevant, Chinese consumers still find it hard to resonate with these.

For example, in 2020,  Dior released their global Halloween themed makeup featuring Aflred Hitchcock’s film ‘Rear Window’, which failed to make a splash in China. Dior has since stopped any local Halloween-related marketing efforts.

This doesn’t mean however that there aren’t any new opportunities here. With more and more younger Chinese consumers in top tier cities accepting Halloween and celebrating it as a fun event with friends, retail brands are exploring new marketing approaches to engage with consumers during this period. Starbucks has launched a series of new Halloween-themed drinks with spin-off accessories like pumpkin costumes and even handbags. 

Whilst it’s still difficult for retail brands to capitalise off the Halloween period like other popular western festivals in the Chinese market, more brands are noticing this untapped opportunity. We can therefore expect more China-specific creative Halloween campaigns in the future.


Halloween in Mexico is often overshadowed by their local festival ‘Dia de los Muertos’ commonly known as ‘Day of the Dead’ which is also a national holiday and is celebrated at large by most of the population.

‘Dia de los Muertos’ is known as a day of remembrance, happiness and celebrations. Many host picnics beside their relatives graves, or create altars called ‘ofrendas’ at their homes which are stocked with their loved one’s favourite foods, drinks, their photos and other memories, as well as candles and marigolds –  a flower long associated as the official flower of Dia de los Muertos.Brands looking to reach the Mexican market have also started to embrace Mexican Halloween festivals. Last year, Doritos Mexico teamed up with creative agency, Slap, to launch a Day of the Dead themed ad to celebrate Mexican culture.


Whilst Halloween is celebrated very similarly to western traditions, Austria also celebrates Kürbisfest, also known as the Pumpkin Festival in Rezter Land. As well as this, on the 11th of November, Austria celebrates Martini, which includes dressing up in costumes and processions with lanterns. Some people in Austria believe that if they leave bread, water and a lighted lamp out, dead souls will be welcomed back to the earth for that night.

With regards to digital marketing, regular internet usage in Austria has increased in recent years, to 93% of the population at the beginning of 2022. Brands looking to break into the digital landscape by capitalising on seasonal periods including Halloween should choose to use social media over other digital channels, as consumer media consumption is heavier on these platforms.


Halloween is considered to have originated in Ireland. The ‘Púca festival’ which takes place from the 31st of October to 2nd of November, highlights the Celtic folklore character, Púca, who is believed to come alive on Halloween, changing the fortunes of those who cross it and immersing them in the true spirit of the occasion. 

The ‘Púca festival’ includes music, light and a harvest-like experience. Furthering this, the Irish traditionally eat a fruitcake called ‘barmbrack’ on Halloween, which traditionally will have a treat baked inside the cake and depending on what the treat is, will foretell the future of whoever receives it. 

Digital marketing in Ireland is on the rise. This year, the communications group Core has forecasted that media spend in Ireland will grow to €1.2bn in 2022 – growing by 10.9%. Growth has been seen in the online video market in particular, which is up by 39.4% from 2021, along with out-of-home investment and cinema advertising. For this reason, particularly during Halloween and other seasonal periods, we can expect to see brands taking a more cross-channel approach, to merge out-of-home and online efforts.


People from all around the world flock to celebrate Halloween at Vlad ‘The Impaler’ Tepe’s renowned and purported home in Bran Castle, Transylvania, Romania.

Whilst rumours suggest that this was never actually Dracula’s castle, Romania continues to follow its own traditions for Halloween since its such a high tourism event for the country. A number of travel guides prepare for the busy Halloween season, with inclusive packages to Romania readily available during this period, as well as various parties planned at Count Dracula’s castle during Halloween.

Ad spend in Romania is predicted to reach US$606.4m in 2022. Although TV advertising remains the highest spend and gains the largest audience, digital has the fastest growth in the ad market. Brands looking to take part in seasonal periods such as Halloween and Christmas will be able to successfully leverage SEO and social strategies  in order to reach Romanian consumers.


From the end of September to mid-October, Buddhist families in Cambodia gather together to celebrate Pchum Ben, a religious holiday which commemorates the dead. As part of the tradition, relatives will gift foods such as sweet sticky rice and beans wrapped in banana leaves whilst visiting temples, offering baskets of flowers as a way of paying their respects to their deceased ancestors.

Whilst digital marketing may not hold as large a market share in Cambodia as it does in other markets across the world, around 61% of the population in Asia prefer mobile over desktop for internet usage. So there is definitely still scope for brands to reach Cambodian consumers through digital advertising, specifically during seasonal periods such as Halloween and Christmas.


The Awuru Odo Festival in Nigeria marks the return of dearly departed friends and family members back to the living. Remaining with the living for up to six months, the holiday is celebrated with feasts, music and masks before the dead return to the spirit world. Although the Odo Festival is an important ritual, it only happens once every two years, when it is believed the spirits will return to Earth.The social commerce industry is expected to reach US$1,003.8 million in 2022 and forecast to grow in the years to come. With an increase in smartphone, and subsequently social media users, the social commerce landscape in Nigeria is transforming. Therefore, brands can utilise more upcoming technologies and innovations to help establish their brand presence within this market, particularly during high sales periods such as Halloween or Awuru Odo Festival in Nigeria.

United Kingdom

The origins of Halloween in the UK can be traced back to another ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (not to be confused with the aforementioned Púca festival). The festival symbolises the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead. It was believed by the Celts that on the night of the 31st of October, ghosts of their dead would revisit the mortal world and large bonfires were lit in each village in order to ward off any evil spirits that may be at large. 

However, modern-day Halloween celebrations in the UK generally involve bobbing for apples in water, telling ghost stories, the carving of faces into pumpkins, and groups of children dressed in scary costumes roaming from house to house, demanding ‘trick-or-treat’.

In 2022, UK consumers are predicted to spend £28.95 million on pumpkins, up by 15% from 2021, and overall spend on Halloween festivities has been increasing over the years, predicted to reach £687 million in 2022. The prevalence of traditions such as costume wearing within the UK has provided online retailers such as Amazon with the opportunity to maximise on Halloween. It’s highly likely that online fancy dress retailers will see a surge in sales during the Halloween and Christmas sales period.

One campaign that was created for Halloween but also used for a good cause this year, was Lottie London’s ‘Blood for Beauty’ where consumers could pay for their exclusive Vampire Diaries makeup collection by donating blood. This collaboration was in response to an NHS report that outlined the UK blood bank’s national shortage, and consumers were encouraged to share their donation proof on social media platforms.


Halloween in the US can be traced back to the American colonists, most of whom were Puritans who journeyed from England. Similarly to those in the UK who celebrated the Celtic festival of Samhain, the first celebrations in the US were based on the same practices. However, as American colonies were heavily influenced by an array of different cultures, it wasn’t long before traditions and celebrations began to change.

In the mid-1800s Irish immigrants began moving to the US, and as Celtic people also lived in Ireland, they brought their Halloween traditions with them. This included dressing up, playing pranks, and asking neighbours for food and money. Americans started doing the same, and soon, the tradition of ‘trick-or-treating’ was born. With that being said, the ‘tricks’ became more like rowdy pranks, causing costly damage especially in major cities. Over time, cities began organising tamer, family orientated Halloween events, and the modern idea of ‘trick-or-treating’ was born.

In New York, pop-up fancy dress shops open across the city in preparation for the day, whilst the annual Village Halloween Parade, which began in 1973, has over 50,000 participants and draws crowds in excess of two million – making it the largest Halloween Parade in the world.

Research suggests that 65% of Americans will celebrate Halloween this year, with the average American expected to spend around $102.74 on Halloween merchandise.

According to Statista, Americans spent around $10.14 billion on Halloween in 2021, and are predicted to spend an estimated $10.6 billion this year. The popularity of Halloween is continuing to increase year-on-year, with it becoming the second-largest commercial holiday in the US.

It’s therefore pivotal that brands take advantage of this to help build momentum before the holiday season is in full swing. An example of this is Cheetos who have taken their recent digital campaign to virtual reality this Halloween. To commemorate this spooky holiday, Cheetos have launched Chesterville, a new, Halloween-themed digital suburban neighbourhood that allows users to engage with the brand through a previously uncharted avenue.

Happy Halloween to everyone! To find out more about our Croudie Network or about Croud get in touch.

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