Squash is used in the US and in Nicaragua during holidays that involve going door to door and asking for treats, just in different ways. Here in the US it's used as a decorative piece during Halloween. In Nicaragua during La Purisima, the ayote is cooked with sugar cane and eaten as a dessert. During La Purisima, adults and children go door to door to houses celebrating la Purisima yelling out, "Who causes so much happiness?" Treat givers respond, "The Conception of Mary!" and then hand out candies or brindis.
La Purisima is celebrated the 8th of December culminating nine days of prayer. It's one of my favorite Nicaraguan holidays and something that I really miss from back home.