Halloween in Africa

Let’s face it, the world has been fascinated with witches for centuries. No wonder Harry Potter was such a success!

Originating from the Celtic Harvest Festival practices of celebrating and remembering the dead, Halloween has, over the years, grown to become an innocent night of trick-or-treating and dressing up in fancy costumes usually of dark or evil characters or of one’s favorite fictional personality or celebrity.  A worldwide buzz is thus created at the end of October as many Western countries celebrate Halloween annually on October 31st.

How is Halloween celebrated in Africa?

Halloween celebrations in Africa date back much further than the introduction of Christianity to the continent. A few African countries are well known for their witchcraft and voodoo practices such as Benin, Togo, Ghana, Nigeria and the Congo holding on to their own ancient traditions, thus somewhat having a connection with Halloween. There have also been many witch stories arising out of Madagascar where worshipping the dead is very common. Every year, the dead family member’s body is exhumed, the family members elevate the corpse above their heads dancing and singing in circles. The corpse’s clothes are then changed for new clothing and the body is again wrapped in new sheets like a mummy before being reburied again until the following year’s funeral anniversary.

There are also some African countries that ban the holiday’s festivities altogether. In 2013, the citizens of Rwanda were banned from hosting Halloween parties, due to religious differences. The ban caused a huge uproar, as many of the citizens enjoyed celebrating the holiday.

Having said that, the more developed Anglophone countries in Africa with a bigger Western influence do celebrate Halloween on a smaller scale than the US, such as South Africa, Kenya and Mauritius, where children and adults do dress-up and trick-or-treats are organized along residential neighborhoods on Halloween night.

We at Africa HR Solutions do embrace many traditions and cultures from across the world and we could not miss out on this spooky celebration.

Happy Halloween!

Special thanks to Claudia, our favorite witch, for this article. When she’s not on her broom terrorizing neighbors or zapping a few princes into frogs, Claudia dedicates herself to help companies from across the globe get a footprint on the African continent.

If at anytime you need her witchcraft skills to expand your business or handle your payroll needs in Africa, you can get in touch with her by clicking the magic button below!

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