Boo! Halloween celebrations in pictures

If Halloween is one of your favorite holidays, you can thank the Celts.

Back in ancient times, the Celtic peoples (whose descendants include the Irish, Welsh, Scots and Bretons) celebrated the Samhain festival, when the souls of the dead were set free for one night to roam the Earth. People lit bonfires to help guide these souls back to the land of the dead. They wore scary costumes to frighten the souls away from the living. They also offered food to appease potentially threatening spirits.

Today, people still light bonfires, dress up and hand out food (mostly candy) on October 31, but for fun. Halloween is hugely popular in America and around the world.

Hong Kong

Crowd surrounding child dressed in dragon costume (© AP Images)
(© AP Images)

For some, like this young child at a Halloween festival in Hong Kong, the more elaborate the costume the better.


Silhouettes of a figure in a tree with a broom and people dressed as witches walking near it (© AP Images)
(© AP Images)

These revelers walk beside witch figures and creepy surprises during sunset at the Halloween celebration in a Leipzig amusement park.

South Africa

People wearing brightly colored masks (© AP Images)
(© AP Images)

The Johannesburg Zoo hosts hundreds of Halloween partygoers.


Smiling skeleton in Halloween costume standing among colorful items for sale (© AP Images)
(© AP Images)

Get your Halloween decorations here! This store at the SAARA street market in Rio de Janeiro offers a scary display for people exploring the neighborhood, known as “Centro” in Portuguese.


Two women wearing zombie face paint (© AP Images)
(© AP Images)

At a Halloween street party in downtown Beirut, two women put on frightening faces as they join in the fun.


Crowd of costumed people celebrating (© AP Images)
(© AP Images)

People clad in Halloween costumes react to cameras as they march down a main street in Kawasaki, near Tokyo.

New York, USA

People dressed as zombies walking on bridge (© AP Images)
(© AP Images)

Promoting the Halloween premiere of the U.S. television series The Walking Dead, a group of “zombies” shamble along the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.