Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays and is celebrated in a number of countries around the globe. I LOVE HALLOWEEN! Costumes, parties, tricks and treats. Scary movies, all things spooky and creepy. Did you ever think of enjoying Halloween somewhere else instead of your neighborhood? Here are 6 possible places to consider visiting during the Halloween Season with Sundance Vacations!
Halloween’s origins trace back to the ancient Celtic world of Ireland! You will find that Ireland’s Halloween is similar to the States. People dress up, houses are decorated and Jack O’ Lanterns are carved. One of the biggest events in Ireland is the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival held in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland. People dress up in costumes and there is a grand carnival held within the city’s medieval walls, with live music and fireworks. You can also enjoy the huge Samhain parade or Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin as well! The parade stretches from Parnell Square along O’Connell Street finishing in the Temple Bar. Want to visit some castles? Malahide Castle offers ghost tours, and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park host family fun events such as magic shows, music and Halloween games. Ireland is the home of Halloween. Children trick or treat and some play a game called “knock-a-dolly,” which involves children knocking on neighbors’ doors and running away before they answer them. A treat you may eat while visiting for Halloween would be a traditional fruitcake called barnbrack. This is a cake with a treat baked inside which, depending on the treat will foretell the future of whoever receives it.
Dia de Muertos – or Day of the Dead. This is a very spiritual festival for families to honor their ancestors for over three days. The Celebration takes place between October 31st and November 2nd. You will be able to witness the Day of the Dead Celebrations almost anywhere in Mexico. During the celebrations, there are plenty of food stalls and markets to enjoy! It’s a tradition that cemeteries are heavily decorated. Friends and families spend time at the decorated cemeteries with their deceased loved ones during this time. Make sure not to miss the Day of the Dead Parade! Another adventure would be to check out the eery Island of Dolls. It is south of Mexico City and located in Xochimilco. You will have to hire a boat to see this creepy island. It is dedicated to the lost soul of a poor girl who met her fate in strange circumstances. The small island is home to hundreds of terrifying dolls.
Typically, Halloween is not as popular as it is in America. England celebrates Guy Fawkes Day on November 5th. Basically, it’s in celebration of Guy Fawkes attempt to blowing up the King and the Houses of Parliament in 1605 killing all inside. This is celebrated with massive bonfires, fireworks and parties. In the past, the bonfires were a way of fortune telling. Throwing objects like stones, vegetables and nuts into the fire were believed to predict the throwers fate of death and love. Instead of jack-o’-lantern, they have “punkies,” which are carved beetroots. Instead of candy, children ask for money – “penny for the guy”. During this celebration families gather for food and festivities. It’s not totally a Halloween celebration, but something to see. But if you are in England for the 31st you still will catch Halloween parties, so don’t worry.
Surprisingly, Halloween is fairly new to Germany being introduced in 1991! Children trick or treat, and adults enjoy themed costume parties. Pumpkin Festivals are very popular during the arrival of fall and Halloween for all to enjoy. The oldest Halloween event in Germany takes place at Burg Frankenstein near Darmstadt. Visitors are free to wander the ruins, while actors dress as ghouls, ghosts and other gruesome creatures. Another event you can attend is the Movie Park Horror Fest, which is located north of Essen and held annually. The Mayen Markey “Festival of Magic” is also great for enjoying a parade, beer, costumes and pumpkin carvings. If you can stay around for a longer trip in Germany or plan it out Germany celebrates on November 11th Fasching/Karneval. Fasching is like the German version of Mardi Gras. It is a time of feasting, parades, parties, masks and costumes. This a great time to visit.
Staying close to home? Visit Salem. Anytime you visit during the month of October you will get the full Halloween experience! There are many guided tours of haunted and infamous spots, trials and hanging re-enactments, fireworks, a parade and a witch’s circle. There’s also the Witch House Museum, which you can explore. On Halloween night there are witches balls, seances, magic shows and so much to choose from to enjoy.
Have you ever traveled to any of these areas for Halloween, if so, what did you enjoy? What places would you suggest visiting for Halloween that were not listed, we would love to know!