Fun fact:the tradition of Halloween originated in Ireland and not in America! Halloween traditions and celebrations vary all around the world from sacred ceremonies to dressing up in anything you want to be. If you look forward to Halloween every year, you might want to check these celebrations out.
Self-proclaimed as the World’s Number One Halloween destination, Banks of the Foyle Halloween Festival does not disappoint. It is based on the medieval Irish festival known as “Samhain Night.” This is when the city throws a welcome party for the supernatural beings and the souls of the dead. Over five days the city’s streets are filled with an amazing programme of food, markets, music, theatre, children’s events, street animation, costume making, storytelling and tours. A great bonus is seeing the local homes, businesses and venues decorated for Halloween.
This theme park annually hosts the Festival de la Vida y la Muerte, “The Festival of Life and Death,” in honour of the Day of the Dead. During a period of four days, immerse yourself in the traditional rituals, festivities and customs of the country. During the festival there will also be expositions, plays, dances and concerts that will make you fall in love with the holiday through the celebration of life and death. In the words of the hosts, “experience a journey through traditions that honours life and pays homage to death.”
Watching the annual Samhuinn Fire Festival will make you forget about everything you’ve ever seen associated with Halloween. This unique and atmospheric event celebrates the Celtic new year. You’ll see incredibly detailed costumes, mystical creatures, puppetry, acrobatics, fire and lots of drums that all work together to bring the epic Celtic tale of the Summer and Winter Kings to life in Edinburgh’s Old Town. There are also film screenings in haunted venues and The Edinburgh Secret Society’s Fright Night, an event not for the fainthearted.
You won’t go home disappointed in this city where you’ll always find clubs, bars, hotels and restaurants hosting glamorous events and costume parties at night. In Barcelona, you’ll also have the chance to experience the Catalan tradition of La Castanyada, a popular All Saints’ Day festival with music, dancing, concerts and food stalls filled with scrumptious seasonal delicacies. There are so many more events, notably the Ruta de Altares, Fira de les Bruixes and the Witch Festival. Unlike the USA, where Halloween costume inspiration can come from anywhere, the people in Spain dress up as the traditional spooky characters, like ghosts, vampires, werewolves and zombies.
New York City, Los Angeles, Salem and New Orleans in the USA
We can’t forget the country that made Halloween the holiday as we know it today! New York City hosts the country’s largest Halloween celebration called The Village Halloween Parade which has a different theme each year and the public is welcome to join in. Halloween Carnival on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles is the world’s largest Halloween street party. There’s also Blackout, a theatrical haunted house so intense they make you sign a waiver, and HARD Day of the Dead, a rave just outside of the city. On the spookier side of Halloween, head to Salem and New Orleans. The former has an Annual Psychic Fair, a Witchraft Expo and the Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball. New Orleans is where Halloween is almost like Mardi Gras where there are parades and parties going on everywhere. For something really different, check out the Voodoo Experience Music Festival.