A holiday dedicated to remembering the dead, Halloween is celebrated in a number of countries around the world on or around October 31. Adapted throughout the ages it is thought to have originated from the ancient Celtic Festival of Samhain
. Here people would light bonfires and dress in costume to ward off evil spirits.
As Halloween fast approaches this year we take time to look at the festivities around the world and how it is celebrated in different ways.
Believed to have originated here as the pagan Festival of Samhain, Halloween is still widely celebrated across Ireland. Through cultural influences from America we do see a lot of the traditional methods of celebration including dressing up in scary costume and going trick or treating. That said, you can’t beat a traditional Irish festival and the Banks of Foyle Halloween Carnival
in Derry, Northern Ireland, is dubbed to be Europe’s best.
In this 4 day celebration thousands will gather dressed in costume, for spectacular events like the carnival parade, monster fun fair, fireworks and lots more.
Whilst Mexico has its traditional methods of celebration on 31st October complete with ghoulish costume and candy treats the real celebrations comes later on November 1 and 2 with Dia de Los Muertos.
In this festivity Mexicans focus on making light of the sadness commonly associated with death by elaborately decorating altars and graves and often dressing up as their ancestors. In San Miguel de Allende they throw a 5 day party to celebrate known as the La Calaca festival
. Here they throw dance parties that last into the night complete with art installations, plays and live music. If you decide to make your way to celebrate the Dia de Muertos we recommend the Living Spirit Hotel
located close to the Bicentenario Hotel you'll be within steps of all the action in San Miguel.
Arguable one the most Halloween celebrated places in the world. You can’t turn a corner without seeing lighten pumpkins in windows, children and adults out trick or treating dressed in ghoulish costume and of course extreme candy consumption.
In Salem, Massachusetts, knows as The Witches’ city, Halloween is spread over a full month’s worth of exciting celebrations. The annual Haunted Happenings Grand Parade kicks off the festivities with music and costumes students from Salem’s schools. You can learn all about its history of witchcraft by visiting the Salem Witch Museum. If you are planning to head over to the "witches" birthplace in Salem we recommend you stay at the Hawthorne Hotel
where you'll enjoy both the historic and modern decorations in the rooms in this ideally located hotel.
Whilst Halloween was largely introduced to China through Western expats there are still several days celebrated in a very similar way to Halloween. The Hungry Ghost Festival, celebrated throughout China and Hong Kong, lasts a whole month. Starting on the 15 day of the 7 lunar month it is a time to worship ancestors in China.
Festivities include street and market ceremonies, lighting incense and making sacrifices of food to worship ghosts.
A big holiday, Halloween in the Philippines lasts from the eve of October 31 to November 2. It is treated as a time to respect the dead and remember lost loved ones. They traditionally celebrate, All Souls Day, on 2 November by visiting the graves of deceased family and friends and cleaning tombs, lighting candles, offering flowers and making a prayer.
In October Cambodia hosts a 15 day long religious festival known as Pchum Ben
or "Ancestor's Day". This is a time for Cambodians to pay respect to their ancestors of up to 7 generations. It is said that on the first day of Pchum Ben the gates of hell are opened, where you can hear monks chanting throughout the night. Locals will offer monks gifts of food in their local pagoda in the hope to reduce the sins of their ancestors. We recommend you stay at the Paradise Villa Angkor Hotel
which is located at the heart of Siem Reap were you will be able to enjoy the city and interact with locals during this very important religious festival.