There are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween. Pumpkin carving, trick or treating, and costume parties are all commonplace — but what about traveling to a new destination to experience Halloween in an entirely different way? Discover the best places to celebrate Halloween — both local and foreign — and experience the holiday with unique and fascinating traditions!
Thousands of tourists flock to Transylvania every year to visit the home of Count Dracula. Between the disturbing details of Bram Stoker’s novel and the remote location of the legendary castle, there is no doubt this is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween! Spooky parties are hosted within Bran Castle every year and give visitors to perfect excuse to dress up, get together with their friends, and take part in the festivities as they learn about the myths and history of this legendary place. Bran Castle is also one of the most haunted castles in Romania — could this be due to the Count or are there other reasons behind it?
At the start of November every year, a special holiday known as the “Day of the Dead” takes place. For travelers this might be one of the most fascinating festivals around the world as colorful costumes, festive parties, and food and drinks are commonplace — but keep in mind this is actually not a Halloween celebration! The Day of the Dead is a time for locals to pay their respects to their loved ones and welcome back the spirits of those who have passed away. This is a time for everyone in Mexico to come together to celebrate life and death as they dress up in magnificent costumes amid extraordinary artwork, delicious food, ancient traditions, and grand festivities!
While Halloween has grown to be extremely popular in America, contrary to popular belief, this is not the birthplace of this spooky holiday. The origins of Halloween date back to the Celtics in Ireland who celebrated a festival known as Samhain. The holiday was celebrated between Oct. 31st to Nov. 1st every year as followers believed that during this time the barrier between the worlds broke down and they could connect with spirits. While Dublin and Galway host incredible events, Derry is believed to be the best place to celebrate Halloween with a three-day festival that mixes Samhain traditions with fascinating terror trails, ghostly tours, powerful fireworks, and so much more that the city has even been named the best Halloween destination in the world.
Speaking of the States, there is no doubt how much Americans love to celebrate Halloween. This holiday has grown so big that New York City now hosts the largest Halloween celebration in the world, with roughly 50,000 people who gather every year to take part in the festivities! The Village Halloween Parade takes place in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, where creative costumes, powerful performances, and magnificent puppets will steal the show. You might choose to leave trick or treating for the kids, but you can attend this American spectacle at any age — just remember costumes are mandatory and masks are recommended if you wish to march in the parade!
Known as the Halloween capital of Asia, Hong Kong is the perfect place to celebrate this spooky holiday in the East. Colorful costume parties, fascinating festivals, spectacular street festivities, and spooky theme parks open up and leave plenty of choices for visitors to celebrate Halloween! China also boasts its own traditions at other times of the year such as the annual Hungry Ghost Festival which takes place in the middle of August. This festival is held to prevent evil spirits (which are believed to come out in August) from negatively impacting their lives and to honor their loved ones who have passed away.
Circling back to the USA, a trip to Salem would make for the ultimate Halloween vacation. Known as the City of Witches, roughly 20 citizens who were accused of practicing witchcraft were executed in the 17th century. With its spooky past, there is no doubt why tales of haunted stories and paranormal encounters have become commonplace as following The Witch Trials, many of these victims were proven to be innocent. Grand parades, major festivals, exquisite balls, and themed parties give visitors plenty of options to choose between for the perfect (and incredibly spooky) Halloween experience.
Italy is no stranger to Halloween! Massive festivals with colorful costumes and ancient traditions are commonplace to this Mediterranean gem, and Venice is a great place to partake in the festivities. Surrounded by haunted islands which are known for their bone-chilling encounters, parades, parties, and street carnivals also take place every year. All Souls’ Day is a local holiday that takes place at the start of November and is devoted to those who have passed away. This is a time when Italians share flowers with their passed loved ones and hold them in their prayers.
Over the past few years, Halloween has become increasingly popular among the youth in Japan. The capital city of Tokyo is well known for its grand celebrations as thousands of locals gather together to dress up and wander around the streets in their magnificent costumes — and the Shibuya Crossing is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween as you can show off your costume and immerse yourself in the vibrant energy and atmosphere. Spooky parades, cosplay festivals, Disney Resort decorations, and famous nightclub events take place across the different districts of Tokyo and partiers are welcome to show off their incredible costumes and partake in the festivities!
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