The Oban Blog

Día de muertos, Chuseok, Dia de los ñatitas: Halloween around the world

Halloween is now the UK’s third biggest retail event, trailing closely behind Christmas and Easter. According to the International Business Times, Britons are estimated to spend a grand total of £300m-£400m on Halloween related items this year.

According to Frances Donegan-Ryan, Global Community Engagement Manager at Bing Ads, Halloween searches on Bing grew 1052% across mobile devices in 2014 and that trend is set to increase this year. When taking a look into social media usage surrounding Halloween, Pinterest continues to grow in popularity among those looking for costume inspiration (13.3%). The NRF states the majority will find inspiration online (31.4%) or will head to retail stores (26.8%) before they make a final decision. In the US alone, 157 million Americans are planning to celebrate Halloween this year, with each expected to spend an average of $77.52.

We carried out  research on Baidu, Yandex and Google to see what people were searching for around the world:

Pumpkins are one of the most popular Halloween items searched for on Baidu.
Happy Valley, an amusement park, is a popular attraction during Halloween in China.

In Germany, costume rental is actively sought after with pirate costumes and contact lenses being the most popular. From our research we also found a lot of interest in making Halloween themed arts and crafts.

Much like Germany, make-up seems to a be a top concern during Halloween in Russia.
We found that St Petersburgh was the main location for Halloween celebrations.
We also discovered there was a lot of searches surrounding the dates in which Halloween occurs – showing that although it is not a Russian tradition it has been incorporated into their society through globalisation.

Much like Germany, food seems to be a focus with lots of ‘recipe’ searches.
Halloween ‘colouring books’ were also heavily searched and sought after. Halloween games also played a big role in Halloween searches in France.

Halloween is celebrated worldwide but is celebrated with unique traditions from country to country:

Día de Muertos festivities often feature breads, candies and other foods in the shape of skulls and skeletons. Bakeries, convenience stores and businesses related with Día de Muertos had an increase in sales of 30% in 2014. An average person spends $200 Mexican pesos during this time. This year Día de Muertos takes place on the 1st and 2nd November.

The Japanese celebrate the “Obon Festival”. This festival is dedicated to the spirits of our ancestors. Candles are placed in lanterns and are set afloat on rivers and seas. “Obon” is one of the two main occasions during the Japanese year. The Obon week in mid-August is one of Japan’s three major holiday seasons.

Chuseok is a festival celebrated in Korea similar to Halloween. The family pays respect to their ancestors by visiting their tombs and making offering of rice and fruits.

Hong Kong:
Halloween in Hong Kong is known as Yue Lan – Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. For 24 hours, spirits roam Earth. People in Hong Kong burn pictures of fruit or money.

Dia de los ñatitas – Day of the Skulls – is a festival celebrated in La Paz, Bolivia.  On 9 November, Bolivians take the skulls to church for blessings and they are crowned with flowers and offered cigarettes, alcohol, and other items in thanks for the year’s protection.


*NRF’s Halloween Consumer Spending survey

*Internet Retailer