Halloween celebrated in USA but students say only in some parts of Japan, Italy, Tonga and more

Written by: 
Noah Shoaf


Halloween is one of the biggest commercial holidays in America with people spending more than $9 billion a year celebrating it, says Statista.com, but its influence spans past the western hemisphere.

According to sophomore and accounting major, Tatsuya Ogaki, Halloween is becoming popular in his home country of Japan, even though it is not an official holiday. “I don't think Halloween is a big event in Japan compared to Christmas or New Year, but it's been changing. Recently people have been enjoying Halloween.”

Ogaki said he thinks Halloween is becoming more mainstream in Japan is because of the influence of popular American attractions like Disneyland and Universal Studios. He said they have been using Halloween as a way to draw profits, as restaurants and stores are starting to do as well. He explained how this can create a divide in who celebrates Halloween because he said it depends on how much American culture someone is exposed to.

He continued, “I feel younger people celebrate Halloween. There were even students who wore costumes in my high school on Halloween, but I don’t even think my grandparents know what the word ‘Halloween’ is.”

According to History.com, the Halloween celebrated today in America originated from ancient festivals and religious rituals. Now it has evolved into a big business holiday, says The National Retail Federation.

Melissa Collins, a freshman studying marine biology, said she understands how Halloween can be viewed differently depending on where you live. She lived in Italy for over eight years on a U.S. Navy base and said she observed how some Italians react to Halloween.

“On the base, we host Halloween events. Many Italians will come onto the base and bring their families to celebrate Halloween with us. Sometimes there ends up being more Italians at the events than Americans.”

Collins said not all Italians celebrate Halloween. She thinks mainly the Italians close to the base and who have contact with Americans celebrate the holiday.

Halloween is different in Japan or Italy compared to United States, but according to freshman Nerissa Fie’eiki, a hospitality and tourism major, Halloween in Tonga differs the most.  “I only know one part of Tonga that celebrates Halloween and that’s because it is an English-speaking area. Nowhere else in Tonga do people celebrate it.”

The International TEFL Academy reported how other countries, not just Japan and France, are influenced by Halloween. It said, “Halloween celebrations are becoming increasingly popular in Chile, particularly in major cities like Santiago, where shops, supermarkets, and malls break out special decorations and kids just love to wear costumes and knock on the doors of their neighbors asking for candy.” 

The Academy also said due to Americans living in foreign cities, countries like South Korea, Spain, and Brazil, are starting to celebrate different elements of Halloween too.


Date Published: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Last Edited: 
Friday, October 19, 2018