Home / International Travel Insurance / Articles / Travel Tips / Unleash Your Spirits: Where to Celebrate Halloween in Style Around the World
Team AckoApr 28, 2023
Halloween is finally here! Celebrated in many countries, this is the time to bring out your best costumes and scariest decorations and enjoy the traditional spooky festivities of Halloween. Whether you choose to dress up in costume, carve pumpkins and go trick-or-treating, or stay up late telling ghost stories, Halloween is the perfect opportunity to visit some of the world’s most famous and spookiest locations and create memories that will last a lifetime. Here the some of the best places in the world to celebrate Halloween.
Known as Japan’s ‘Festival of Souls’, the traditional Japanese holiday ‘Obon’ celebrates the return of deceased relatives with ancestral reverence and welcoming of the spirits of the dead into the household. From Obon, traditions such as ‘Mukashibanashi’ (ghost stories) around bonfires, making of ‘kyo-no-fuku’ (costumes) from straw, and ‘Kame’ (coconut) bobbing (vogue version of apple bobbing) have been passed down for generations. In modern-day Japan, most elements of the holiday have been kept alive, and now it’s also a time to dress up in spiffy costumes and enjoy monster walks, haunted houses, and parades.
Mexico has always had its various traditions and mythologies that were embraced over centuries, and ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ (Day of the Dead) is what is celebrated. The local people take the traditions to their hearts and celebrate the festivity by making offerings to departed souls and engaging in feasts, events, and activities as an act of remembrance and respect for their ancestors. It’s a popular destination for celebrating Halloween, due to its colorful culture, stunning scenery, and world-famous culture!
In its early days (1800s) Westfest grew from a blend of the British, Celtic, and American traditions and was the first ‘real’ Halloween - which was celebrated by trick-or-treating, fortune-telling, and feasting on nuts, apples, and locally produced food. But it’s the world’s most iconic theme parks like Universal Studios, especially in Orlando where all of the fun rides, spooktacular shows, and captivating parades create a never-ending adventure!
In the United Kingdom, community resources such as churches, parks, and public spaces become alive with festivities to celebrate the changing of the season. Ghost stories become a common feature, animal costumes and robin redbreast lanterns often feature, and pumpkins are carved into jack-o-lanterns to light up Halloween. The festivities then culminate with a concluding two-day celebration, centered around All Hallows Eve, with food, bonfires, costumes, and scarecrows.
The Aussie Halloween festivities are quite different from those found in other parts of the world, and focuses on bonfires, ghost stories, and carving of pumpkins. In comparison, the planned events for Halloween tend to be the more ‘on display’ type of activities, such as parades, haunted houses, and other event attractions. The appeal of Australia’s Halloween festivals and events is not just about the traditional methods of Halloween celebration - it’s about the combination of modern events and activities as well!
An African Halloween celebration in South Africa is traditionally focused on the traditional harvest festivals and ritualistic respects afforded to the ancestors of lost tribes and those that left to new possibilities in other lands. Outdoor festivals are a key part of celebrating Halloween in South Africa, where it serves as a welcome break to the long weeks of dreary winter. Food is also a large part of the festivities, with roasted pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and beef being favorite dishes.
Greece is a unique and special place to celebrate Halloween as celebrations are associated not only with the modern traditions, but also with the turn of the season rituals of the ancient Greeks. The main festivities are usually held a few weeks before the actual night of Halloween, and starts with the lighting burning of bonfires. After the ceremony, people parade in the streets shouting and singing traditional songs, and releasing paper lanterns. A visit to a haunted house to experience the Greek spirit of Halloween is also a favorite amongst tourists.
India is known worldwide for its unique festivals, which provide great opportunities to both explore and learn about the country's culture. It’s an especially vibrant place to celebrate Halloween! People create colorful decorations with paper lanterns, garlands & Rangoli images, make special treats, dress in traditional Indian costumes, participate in firework displays, and parade in the streets with traditional Indian singing and dancing. Of course, don’t forget to visit the haunted house for a true scare!
Known for its beautiful cities, literature, and gory history, France is one of the most popular countries to celebrate Halloween. From the 3rd of November back in the 16th century, the French celebrate “La Toussaint” or “All-Souls Day” in remembrance of the lives previously taken and to recognize the point in which the spirit of an individual endures beyond the flesh. As such, the living holds festivities outside; in darkness, lit by candlelight and candelabras while wearing their most hauntingly beautiful costumes. It’s a unique way to experience the beauty of fear.
Head over to Italy this Halloween and explore beautiful cities full of cobbled streets and Italy's wealth of magical creatures and folklore. Italy celebrates Halloween around the same time as North America and the UK but with some minor differences. Instead of carving pumpkins, Italians use hollowed-out turnips and beets instead, alongside large, scary masks. Partygoers often dress in traditional 'Befana' outfits, where an old woman with a star on her forehead warns of forthcoming tricks, brewing potions and creating spells.
Chinese cultures view Halloween, or more specifically the ‘Festival of the Hungry Ghosts’, as an opportunity for people to pay homage and be generous to their ancestors. Rituals involve the ritual burning of paper goods to be sent to the afterlife and to ward off evil. It’s a unique experience to drive through the city and watch towers of smoke burgeon in the night sky, or visit a local temple with offerings of fruits and treats. You’ll also find parades and gatherings with spectacular masks, costumes and performers.
Wherever you choose to celebrate Halloween, do it responsibly and be safe. This holiday is all about embracing the dark, mysterious, and supernatural and having a spooktacular time! Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy this special evening of festivities, honoring our ancestors by celebrating the new season. Wherever you go, be sure to have a fantasy-filled evening surrounded by loved ones and enjoy all that is Halloween.
What Is Halloween?
Halloween is celebrated in many countries around the world and is traditionally associated with parties, costumes, and spooky decorations. It is commonly thought to have originated from Celtic harvest festivals during autumn and the tradition of “All Hallows Eve”.
When Is Halloween Celebrated?
Halloween is mainly celebrated on October 31, but some countries may have different dates due to cultural differences and local traditions.
What Are Some Of The Best Places To Celebrate Halloween?
Some of the best places in the world to celebrate Halloween include Japan, Mexico, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Greece, India, France, and Italy.
What Is The Traditional Celebration Of Halloween?
The traditional celebration of Halloween usually involves costume parties, trick-or-treating, bonfires, ghost stories, haunted houses, and parades. Other traditions may involve carving pumpkins, making offerings to the deceased, lighting bonfires, and releasing paper lanterns.
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