When you think of the word Halloween, the image of the pumpkin quickly comes to mind with creepy eyes and smiles, talking skeletons, crazy vampires, bags full of sweets, ghostly ornaments…
The so-called “night of witches” or “night of the dead”, is tinted with colours such as orange, black and purple. The typical terrifying decoration has been on display for years in shopping centres, schools and even in our homes.
In short everything will be ready to experience one of the most special and fun nights of the year.
But there are other curious ways to celebrate Halloween in the world!
If you want to know more about how this night is celebrated in other destinations, don’t miss our post today.
We’ll take a trip around different cultures and ways of celebrating the dead.
Grab your scariest costume and join us!
ORIGIN OF HALLOWEEN.
Halloween is a celebration of pagan origin from Ireland celebrated on the night of 31 October, the eve of the All Saints Day on 1 November.
This event, called “Samhain” or “End of Summer”, commemorated the end of the harvest season and the Celtic New Year.
It was believed that on that night, the dead passed from the world of the dead to the world of the living, so a series of rituals and actions were performed to protect ourselves from evil spirits.
For example, they carved vegetables, placed an interior light in them and used them as lanterns to prevent undesirable visitors “on the other side” from approaching.
Later, it would be the pumpkin that would have the title of star vegetable for these dates, being recognised worldwide as a symbol of Halloween.
The Celts also wore masks and clothes different from the usual to scare away the spirits, arising from this practice over the years in the disguises that today we all know as ghosts, zombies, witches, vampires …
And the uglier and more fearful it is, the better! 👻
With the passing of time, the popularity of the celebration was such that the Christian church accepted this special form of celebration due to the proximity to November 1st or “All Saints Day”.
They allowed people to disguise themselves the night before as demons, angels or saints and children were allowed to ask for sweets around the house, this being the beginning of the now famous “Trick or Treat“.
This well-known adage originated in the United States. In the 1920’s this expression became very popular and began to be known by all states.
Children ask for sweets and candies around the house. If they don’t get them, they can scare you at best, but it’s common for them to throw eggs at windows or cover gardens with toilet paper.
So better to have a bag of candy prepared behind the door in case the flies!
DESTINATIONS TO EXPERIENCE “ANOTHER” HALLOWEEN
This eye-catching celebration has permeated our way of life and is becoming more and more important every year in many cities around the world.
We will mention the best destinations where to experience different types of Halloween, although they all have a common idea “the closeness between both worlds; life and death”.
In North America the Halloween we all know is celebrated in all its splendour.
The houses are decorated with candles, pumpkins, cobwebs and bats among other items, creating even, depending on the neighbourhood, a series of competitions to see which house is the most original each year.
Numerous fancy dresses and parades are held during the day and the children go out into the street in their best costume to request their coveted sweets house by house.
Places like New York are prepared weeks before the expected night, having almost completely the same theme in every corner of the great metropolis. Shops, restaurants, hotels… everything surrenders to the magical night so that fun is assured.
Massachusetts is home to the city of witches par excellence, “Salem“. Every year people from all over the world come to perform numerous rituals invoking the spirits. If you’re looking for a more macabre experience, this is the place for you.
Another enclave is New Orleans, a town that always has a reason to party, and of course, takes advantage of the whole month of October to celebrate different events.
Its culminating point is a spectacular parade of floats full of all kinds of monsters, ready to have a good time moving the skeleton to the rhythm of the music.
Countries like Ireland, France, United Kingdom, Australia, Spain … have imported thanks to films and television series, the American way of celebrating.
They have some variants of their own, such as those we can find in Canada, where costumes are not usually scary. On the contrary, they like to dress up as their favourite fictional figure or as media people such as politicians.
In Germany, they have a habit of hiding the knives in the house so that the spirits don’t attack them.
Mexico has a very peculiar and showy way of representing life and death in a party that lasts 3 days.
The children disguise themselves on the night of October 31st to ask for sweets using the phrase: “Can you give me my skull?
The “calaverita dulce” (sweet skull) is a delicious cake that is made at this time of year.
The next day, November 1, the day of all the saints, a large number of religious offerings are made.
The last day is commemorative. The 2nd of November is the moment when all the dead are honoured with numerous parades full of faces painted with skulls, flowers in the cemeteries and food offerings for their loved ones such as sweets and cakes, as well as the elaborated “bread of the dead“.
There is a graceful figure depicting death dressed in a mariachi suit and hat that has become very popular as an adornment.
Countries such as Ecuador or Nicaragua celebrate the 2nd of November, the day of the deceased or the faithful.
This celebration has indigenous and religious connotations and they enjoy it in a very peculiar way.
The cemeteries are decorated with coloured papers, flowers, crosses and lights. It is customary to eat local food on the tomb of the deceased and tell them the latest news concerning the family, so that they can be updated on everything that has happened in their absence.
The people who cannot go to the cemeteries place beautiful and colourful altars in their houses in honour of the deceased family member, depositing food and the things they liked most in life, such as tobacco or drink in them.
In certain communities there are people who even sleep that night next to the graves of their loved ones to accompany them on this very special day.
Japan is a country with a very different culture from the rest, and as they were not going to be any less, they have adapted Halloween to their tastes and preferences.
That’s why, on the other side of the world, on October 31st, you can see thousands of people in very elaborate costumes and clothes.
What matters here is the detail, the originality and the perfection of the costume. It is fashionable to use a lot of makeup trying to look as realistic as possible. By the way, they take the opportunity to dress up as their favourite manga or anime characters.
Even pumpkins lose their characteristic malevolent smile to become the face of a famous cartoon animal! 🎃
Very attractive are the multitudinous parades like the “Kawasaki Halloween Parade” in Tokyo, which can accommodate all kinds of characters. The important thing is to go out and have a good time.
Another meeting point where there is a great atmosphere, as many people gather to be seen in their best clothes, is the well-known “Shibuya Crossing“.
In the Far East the “trick or treat” is not fashionable, since they consider it aggressive to approach a stranger to ask for sweets.
In order to enjoy something more mystical, the Mahalaya rite is celebrated in India.
With no fixed date in the calendar, it usually coincides according to the year between the months of September and October.
With a series of prayers, the spirits of the ancestors are worshipped and asked for wishes. The goddess Durga is also prayed and asked to remove demons from both the living and the dead.
Many Hindus bathe in the sacred river Ganges to purify themselves while reciting their prayers.
As in other countries, offerings of clothing and food are made to deceased relatives. After the intense spiritual period, the souls of the ancestors remain at peace until next ye
THE BEST THEME PARKS TO ENJOY HALLOWEEN.
A perfect destination for pumpkin fans and Dracula’s false teeth are theme parks.
Numerous parks are spectacularly adorned and totally change their appearance to give the visitor a very frightening experience.
They also organise activities that only take place for this celebration, so it’s a perfect time to explore all the attractions in a different way.
Here are some examples where you can have fun;
Disney Parks: Los Angeles, Orlando, Paris, China and Japan.
It is recommended to go with the little ones of the house.
You’ll be able to see your favourite Disney characters in an environment that’s not so scary but is very nice and accomplished.
This way they can start to familiarize themselves with the parties, but without creating a trauma for them.
So they can sleep peacefully without nightmares! 😉
Universal Studios: Hollywood, Orlando, Singapore and Japan.
Here the sets are very elaborate and perfect for adults who want to enjoy the fright.
Numerous characters carrying a saw or characterised by the living dead can chase you all over the park, making you scream with pure nervousness.
Beware, nothing is what it seems when we enter a spectral world full of fantasy!
If you don’t want to waste too much time in the queues, we would advise you to buy the “ preferential passes ” for the attractions.
Thousands of tourists visit the parks at this time of year and the long lines formed to enjoy the most famous activities can be “horrifying”.
For those who don’t want to go very far, in Spain we have the following parks that celebrate for several weeks:
Port Aventura , Barcelona: from 22 September to 18 November 2018.
Parque Warner , Madrid: from 06 October to 04 November 2018.
Find out on the websites of the companies, the different schedules that have the shows, films and parades that are held exclusively for this event.
In order not to miss a single detail and to be able to spend as much time as possible inside the venue enjoying everything they offer, we would recommend that you stay close to the parks.
Many of them have theme hotels very close to the main entrance.
These hotels are usually a little more expensive, but they are perfect for staying with children, as they will enjoy the elaborate decoration and it will be much easier for you to get around.
Similarly, there are cheaper hotels near the parks and with a good transport network that will take you to the amusement in a comfortable and fast way.
To help you book these services, in our FLIGHT+HOTEL section you will find all the hotels and flights available to travel to your favourite destination.
In the section of EXCURSIONS AND ACTIVITIES, you can also find the entrances to the parks you choose, both national and international.
If you are one of those who always looks for any reason to put on the costume, now that you know all the places where you can spend a different Halloween, you have the perfect excuse to put your mask in your suitcase and prepare a trip to another country, because…
We like to have fun on the scariest night of the year! 😁
Redactora. Especialista en viajes. Marketing de contenidos.
Si tuviera que definirme diría que soy una viajera incansable amante de la escritura.
Trotamundos desde los 18 años, estos últimos 10 años he combinado mi pasión por conocer el mundo con mi profesión de agente de viajes.
En este blog, trasmitiré mis conocimientos mediante completos posts con la intención de ayudarte a preparar tus vacaciones soñadas.
Plasmaré mis vivencias mediante útiles consejos y podrás consultarme todas las dudas que te surjan.
Recuerda: Más importante que el viaje en sí, es lo que queda en el espíritu del viajero. (Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo)
Editor. Travel specialist. Content Marketing
If I had to define myself, I would say that I am a tireless lover of writing.
Trotamundos since I was 18 years old, these last 10 years I have combined my passion to know the world with my profession as a travel agent.
In this blog, I will transmit my knowledge through complete posts with the intention of helping you prepare your dream vacation.
I will describe my experiences through useful tips and you can consult any doubts that may arise.
Remember: More important than the trip itself, is what remains in the spirit of the traveler. (Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo)