From chilling ghosts and disquieting spirits to evil witches, every corner of the world has a date on its calendar to honor the dead. Take a tour through different cultures and discover how other countries celebrate this very spooky day … If you’re not too afraid to keep reading!
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6 creepy traditions in different cultures
Nowhere is the deceased honored more than in Mexico with the Day of the Dead tradition. On November 1 Mexicans dress in typical costumes, paint colorful skulls and build altars in which they make offerings (from tequila to sugar skulls) to their ancestors. If you are lucky enough to be in Mexico on this important date, head to a cemetery wrapped by candlelight and walk among the graves full of offerings. We promise you it will be a night you will never forget. At least, not in this life.
It is said that Halloween was celebrated for the first time on the Emerald Isle, and it is not surprising: the mystical atmosphere of its hills, castles and Celtic cemeteries creates the perfect landscape for this holiday. To this day, the country celebrates the biggest Halloween party in Europe, called Banks of the Foyle. Here you will see a great parade and enjoy interactive experiences in haunted houses and terrifying shows with skeletons, vampires, spirits and witches. If you like more cities than the countryside, visit Dublin to discover ghosts, evildoers and spirits.
3. Hong Kong
Why celebrate the day of the dead only one day when you can do it for a whole month? The Festival of Hungry Ghosts, also known as the Zhongyuan Festival, is held in Hong Kong and China and marks the time of year when it is believed that the dead come to visit the living. The reason? Enjoy the food, entertain yourself and, above all, play tricks! To alleviate the suffering of those spirits, offerings are burned in the gutters of the roads. In addition, concerts and opera performances are held every night. From parades and feasts to handicrafts, this festival of the dead is also a lot of fun for the living.
4. United States
Believe it or not, the United States only started celebrating Halloween in the 19th century. Imported across the Atlantic from Ireland and Scotland, the tradition remains one of the most important in the country today. Every year, on October 31, adults and children dress up, carve pumpkins and go door-to-door asking for candies and sweets. The thing gets more serious when ghosts and spirits come into play. In New Orleans, witches’ hour does not exist: the city is terrifying all year round. Listen to chilling stories about sorcery, ghosts, voodoo and vampires on a tour of the city’s enchanted buildings. The ghosts that still inhabit them will make your hair stand on end.
From beautiful beaches to incredible waterfalls, the Caribbean island of Haiti is a marvel. However, the rich history of the island also has some sinister touches. The Fet Gede (Day of the Souls) is the voodoo festival to honor the deceased, and you have touches of Halloween, the Day of the Dead and the Mardi Gras festival of New Orleans. This celebration mixes percussion sounds and songs with the lighting of hundreds of candles. The inhabitants of the island visit the tombs of their ancestors, leave gifts and celebrate until late at night with music, processions and refreshing spiced rum.
Its mountainous landscape dotted with stone churches and high castles makes Romania one of the scariest places to celebrate Halloween. The chosen day is November 29, the eve of San Andres, also known as “the night of the spirits” or Noaptea Strigoilor. During that night people gather and pray to protect themselves from the wolves that roam the mountains. In addition, this country is known for its legends of werewolves and vampires: here is the region of Transylvania, famous for the castle of Dracula. Perched on the top of a mountain, this national monument is surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend. Explore its chilling towers and turrets knowing that the place was the most famous bloodsucker house in history.