Halloween is commonly known as a joyful celebration full of frights, spooks, and great costumes, but did you know that Halloween’s origins were a bit darker than the celebrations we have today? Halloween as we know it was a tradition born in Ireland. It was a celebration of the winter solstice ringing in the Celtic New Year, and it was believed that on that night, the dead would reunite with the living.
During ancient Celtic times, the Celts believed that the line uniting the world of the living with that of the dead could also bring evil spirits back. To ward off the evil spirits, people would wear masks. In 1840, Irish immigrants brought this tradition to the United States, but it wasn’t until 1921 that the first Halloween parade took place in Minnesota and the holiday became a huge hit in the United States.
Now, Halloween is celebrated around the world, and although certain elements of the holiday are the same no matter where you go, every place has put their unique spin on this “spooktacular” holiday. What do you like to do on Halloween? Your answer will help you determine where to plan your Halloween trip!
They say that Romania is a favorite destination for Halloween travelers who want to spend an unforgettable Halloween visiting Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania at midnight so they can re_live the legend of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Just like in the United States, Romania has adopted the tradition of children dressing up in costumes, and families deck out their house with bright colors, frightfully fun decorations, and spooky lights. Get ready for the fright of your life when you walk through the streets.
China’s equivalent of Halloween has a unique name — “The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts.” Although the celebration doesn’t take place on October 31, the holiday has similar elements to the Day of the Dead traditions celebrated in other parts of the world.
On the day of the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, it is believed that deceased ancestors come back to join their families in the world of the living, and families light bonfires at the end of highways and light fake money and other offerings for the ghosts so they may use it in the afterlife. Similar to Day of the Dead in Mexico, locals also bring offerings of food for the hungry ghosts.
During this month-long celebration, you can see locals burning incense and bringing rice offerings in parks and plazas while performing operas to delight their visitors from the afterworld.
If you’re a Halloween fanatic, you’ll want to put the birthplace of Halloween on your list of places to haunt. Despite the fact that Halloween was originally a solemn holiday, the tradition of donning masks was born in Ireland. These masks were used to ward off evil spirits that tried to enter the world of the living.
Today, the rituals associated with Samhain aren’t celebrated as much as they were; only a few houses leave food at the door for the departed and light their houses. Bonfires are more popular. According to Celtic tradition, bonfires ward off evil spirits.
Throughout the years, the tradition has adapted to the times, and you can see kids dressed in costumes running around and trick-or-treating. Get your best costume ready and join the celebration in Ireland!
Traveling is more than just visiting places, it’s immersing yourself in a new culture with new traditions and ways of life, and this is the best time to enjoy one of the most popular celebrations in the world. Are you ready to grab your passport and celebrate Halloween?
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