In Lebanon , as kids , we didn't celebrate Halloween. Still don't, but the dress-up parties are a huge thing now.
Nov. 1 is a religious holiday called All Saints Day which was established by the church to replace the pagan tradition of Halloween. However Halloween still wins.
We have another similar feast called Eid Berbara (St. Barbara Day) which is on December 4th of each year.
The legend : Barbara is a Saint from my city who lived around 300 A.D, she was the daughter of the ruler of the city in the days of the Roman Empire, who had her locked up in a tower because of her beauty. Everyone was still mostly pagan, but she converted to Christianity. When her father knew, he tried to kill her but she ran away and hid in the vast wheat fields, then disguised herself with some charcoal. Her father finally found her hiding in a cave and beheaded her with the sword after torturing her and attempting to burn and hang her. He was struck by lightning and killed shortly after.
St. Barbara day is celebrated by kids dressing up. School activities revolve around Eid El Barbara, as kids draw, cut and decorate their own cardboard masks. Upon returning home, many proudly wear their mask and surprise their parents. In the old days, parents used whatever was handy to dress up their children, and kids were so happy to wear their mother’s dresses and father’s jackets, but nowadays they just buy ready-made masks and Halloween costumes) .. In the evening they get to the streets, dancing and singing a special song for Barbara, knocking on doors and asking for money or treats (usually candy/chocolate)
A local tradition on this day is to plant wheat seeds (or chick peas, barley grains, beans, lentils etc…) on a bed of cotton wool. The seeds germinate and grow to 6 inches in time for Christmas, when the shoots are used to decorate the nativity scene, usually placed below the Christmas tree to recreate one of Barbara’s miracles.
She hid in wheat fields, which is why a special wheat dessert is prepared. Boiled barley is flavored with orange blossom water and served with almonds, pistachios, raisins, walnuts, pine kernels, and sweetened with either sugar or honey.
Other traditional desserts include macaroons and luqaymat.
However in recent years Eid Barbara has taken a huge blow in favor of Halloween, or I can rather say we had a split holiday. Kids dress up for Halloween in school and adults have Halloween parties , while on St Barbara (some) kids still go trick-or-treating with the same outfit they wore for Halloween. But it's a dwindling tradition nonetheless and has been mostly confined to schools or small villages where people know each other and feel their kids are safe.
As a kid, I knew about Halloween from movies / cartoons , but only started recognizing it when I traveled to Europe at age 17. Lithuanians have their own Halloween, which spans over November 1 (All Saints Day) and November 2nd which they call Velines (Day of the Souls). October 31 is usually when young people dress up and party all night at home or clubs, but for the next 2 days you can see them in cemeteries lighting candles for the dead (just like Dia de los Muertos in Mexico.) Lithuanians also have a mask carnival on Ash Wednesday called Užgavėnės (literally meaning Time Before Lent) where they dress-up in disguises and knock on doors for treats while singing "Winter Winter go away" (I believe it coincides with Mardi Gras and the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro)
Either way , these days all I do for Halloween is watch some spooky movies because no one I know celebrates it ...
I included some pictures of St Barabara Day :)