Halloween is an annual observance every 31 October in Colombia. It is not an official holiday, but it is an increasingly popular festive event just before the more serious All Saints and All Souls Days at the start of November. Though it has modern roots in American popular culture, Halloween’s true origins are in centuries old Celtic and Christian traditions.
As a Latin American country, Colombia has a long tradition of celebrating All Saints Day and All Souls Day on 1 November and 2 November, respectively. “Modern” Halloween is somewhat new. Only since around 2000 has Halloween become an event of any significance.
There are huge public costume contests and mega-parties in the capital city of Bogota each year. And this is the centre of the nation’s many Halloween ghost stories and haunted houses, largely due to the abundance of older architecture in Bogota. The Moto Halloween Party in the city of Cali is also well known. It is a kind of parade where costumed drivers of cars and motorcycles wind their way through town before onlookers.
The original centres of Halloween in Colombia were the shopping malls, where kids would go for public costume contests. Today, however, the holiday has spread well beyond those bounds. Adult costume parties, trick-or-treating, and decorating your home with Halloween ornaments have become common.