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Halloween has a Similar Festival in India called "Shraddha"

Halloween is a Christian festival ( though it has a Pagan origin) that generally falls on 31 October every year. It’s a day dedicated to remembering the dead, including Saints. Many of my American friends have asked me whether Halloween is celebrated in India.  Well, frankly in India which has 85% Hindu population the festival as understood in the Christian west is not celebrated or followed. Having said that, there is a similar festival in India also. This is called the "Shraddha" or "Pitra Paksha". This is a 15 day long festival that usually occurs during the month of August -September. In this festival the Hindus will remember their departed souls and ancestors.

For Hindus departed souls are not an object of fear or dread. As Hinduism believes that a soul is immortal this festival is followed to placate and please the departed souls. Generally many Hindus will make a footprint facing towards the house. This is a sign that the departed soul is welcome inside the house. Sweets and tasty vegetarian food is prepared and distributed to poor people and animals.

At the end of the festival footprints are again made outside the  house, but facing away, so that the departed soul can leave the house with ease. The "Shraddha" is basically a festival to honor departed souls of  the ancestors. In a way the festival has a similar ethos to the Halloween as celebrated in Christian nations. It shows that the world is in reality a small place.

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