Animals of the Night: 5 Halloween Folklore Across Cultures

Happy Friday the 13th on the spookiest month of the year! October is a month full of pumpkin spice lattes’, freaky Halloween decorations, and spooky stories. It’s the month when the boundaries between the supernatural and physical world are challenged! With its long and rich history, this month has deep roots in tradition, folklore, and myths from all over the world.

We’re used to cute costumes, pumpkin patches, and haunted houses. But this holiday still has other interesting but lesser-known sides to it! Today, MyFriend will tell you about animals and mythical creatures in tales and folklore from all corners of the world! Let’s take this journey across the globe together!

Photo credit: Bastet, World History Encyclopedia

Goddess Bastet (Egyptian): is a fascinating figure from Egyptian mythology often associated with protection, fertility, and, to some extent, Halloween! While Halloween is not an Egyptian holiday, there are some intriguing connections and interpretations that can be drawn between Bastet and this modern celebration. On the other side, Halloween is a holiday where plenty of people dress up in costumes to celebrate the spooky and paranormal as well as fend off evil spirits. This Halloween custom of dressing and carving pumpkins alludes to Bastet’s protective characteristics.

Photo credit: Nuppeppō,

Nuppeppo (Japan): The Nuppeppo is a mysterious figure from Japanese tradition, while not being directly connected to Halloween. It’s frequently portrayed as a strange, blob-like creature composed of flesh with a texture similar to that of rotting skin. Although it may sound odd, the Nuppeppo is actually quite safe and gives folktales a distinctively unsettling edge. Its peculiar design makes it a curious individual that can pique your interest, making it ideal for bringing a little whimsy to Halloween celebrations.

Photo credit: Ankou, Portal dos Mitos

Ankou (Brittany, France): Ankou is a strange and mysterious figure linked to the journey of souls after death in the diverse tapestry of Breton tradition. Ankou is represented as a protector of departed spirits rather than a threat. This kind guardian is frequently pictured as a person wearing a shimmering robe in local folklore, caring and compassionately guiding souls. Ankou’s mode of transportation is a celestial chariot pulled by an ethereal, dazzling horse, not a somber hearse. This horse is regarded as a beautiful animal that exudes warmth and comfort, far from being skeleton or ghostly. Also, the horse also only walks at a steady pace. Ankou is rumored to travel the countryside on special evenings like Halloween, not to gather souls but to accompany them on their final journey and ensure their safety.

Photo credit: Mitos y Leyendas, Chaneque Duende

Chaneque (Mexico): In the vibrant tapestry of Mexican folklore, Chaneques are adorable, diminutive forest spirits that lend a hint of magic to the natural world. They frequently attend festive occasions like Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), much like spirited companions, adding an extra touch of fun to the celebrations. They are renowned for their mischievous antics, which can transform a routine walk through the forest into an adventure full of amazement and laughter. Folklore holds that their naughty actions are a means by which they guard the forest and ensure that it is in peace with nature and its inhabitants, making them beloved guardians of Mexico’s beautiful woodlands.

Photo credit: Odin’s Raven, Vapoureyes NZ

Odin’s Ravens (Norse): Huginn and Muninn, two of Odin’s ravens, are well-known characters in Norse mythology and have a significant place in the mythology of the Norse gods. There are several interesting similarities and inspirations in other cultures and folklore in addition to their main appearance in Norse mythology. These two ravens represent Thought and Memory respectively, and they are the ones who bring all the information to Odin!

Well, what do you think? As we take a deeper look into different cultures and their mythological creatures, we discover more than their myths, we also get a glimpse into a culture’s specific worldview through a newfound understanding and lens! Halloween might evoke costumes, witches, and black cats, but the real beauty is learning about the rich cultural tapestry that has been hidden and tucked away. So, as you celebrate this spooky holiday, take a moment to appreciate the real beauty and diversity the world has to offer! From the mythical creatures and animals that have found their place in the traditional folklore, or from the furry friends right by your side!

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