Most people who celebrate Halloween in America associate the holiday with pumpkins, costumes, and haunted houses. However, other destinations around the globe celebrate Halloween with everything from vibrant festive atmospheres and exceptional events to memorable costume opportunities and thrilling adventures. This bewitching fall season is perfect for a journey that combines travel, tradition, and excitement!
In this blog post, Jaya Travel will explore the coolest spots to travel for Halloween around the world. So, get ready to embrace the spirit of Halloween and prepare for an unforgettable getaway filled with spooktacular moments!
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Where to Celebrate Halloween Around the World
The tradition of celebrating Halloween actually began in Ireland with the ancient Celts and their Samhain festival. They believed that, around October 31st, the human and spirit worlds blurred allowing the spirits of the dead and other supernatural beings to enter the mortal realm. This belief gave rise to various customs and rituals associated with Halloween!
Derry, in Northern Ireland, hosts the renowned “Derry Halloween” festival, a captivating celebration of Halloween and the ancient festival of Samhain. The festival features the mesmerizing “Awakening the Walls” parade, haunted tours, fireworks, live music, and a vibrant carnival atmosphere. For a supernatural-centered adventure, explore the hauntingly eerie Birr Castle in County Offaly or participate in a ghost investigation at Kilkenny’s Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival.
Prepare to be whisked away into the world of vampire folklore at Transylvania, the legendary region in Romania! Its association with the iconic character Count Dracula, made famous by Bram Stoker’s novel, is evident in the region’s dramatic landscapes, ancient castles, and medieval towns. Adding to the allure, Transylvania-born Vlad the Impaler served as inspiration for the vampire legend.
The best place to explore here is the real-life historical site of Bran Castle, often referred to by locals as Dracula’s Castle. On Halloween night, the castle doors open and welcome guests to the best party in the country! Hosted by a Romanian DJ, this event includes a festive dinner, a costume contest, an after-dark tour of Bran Castle, and more. Whether you join tours of ancient ruins, attend vampire-themed parties, or simply embrace the dark allure of the region, Transylvania offers a unique destination to celebrate Halloween like no other.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The iconic American city renowned for its jazz heritage, New Orleans, is also steeped in ghost stories and eerie legends. The Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain completely encircle the city, making it one of the most submerged in the country with nowhere to escape. The unique blend of history, supernatural folklore, and a captivating atmosphere make this an exceptional travel destination during the fall season.
The city’s historic cemeteries, such as St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, offer guided tours that explore the eerie tombs and legends associated with Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. On October 31st, the French Quarter comes alive with elaborate costumes, hauntingly beautiful decorations, and intricately designed floats during the Krewe of Boo parade. Additionally, New Orleans boasts a thriving live music scene, and during Halloween, the streets are filled with the sounds of jazz, blues, and funk, adding rhythmic energy to the festivities.
Halloween holds a significant place in Central American culture, but its celebration differs from that of the United States and Canada. In Mexico, the Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, takes center stage at the end of October, bearing resemblance to the traditions of Scotland and Ireland.
This festive occasion serves as a way to honor departed loved ones, as families and friends gather to create an atmosphere in which they feel the presence of the deceased. Adorned streets, vibrant disguises, stunning makeup, music, cuisine, and dance all contribute to the unique and captivating atmosphere of this celebration.
While all of Mexico celebrates the Day of the Dead, regions like Oaxaca, Chiapas, and the Yucatan particularly embrace the festivities in a more vibrant manner compared to the tranquil rural areas. The significance of this beautiful holiday is recognized globally, as UNESCO designated it a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity in 2003.
Sail to Marseille, off the coast of France, for an offbeat Halloween experience! The coolest thing here is the chilling tours of the Monte Cristo Prison where inmates met haunting ends. Delve into Chateau D’If’s macabre past and uncover prisoner stories, immortalized by Alexander Dumas in “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Screenings at the fortress transport you back to an era of imprisonment and revenge, deepening your understanding of the dark history.
Once exiled off the coast of southern France, the inmates of Chateau D’If fortress faced a bleak existence. Situated on the island of If in the Bay of Marseille, the fortress provided a stunning yet torturous view of the vibrant port city. Conditions varied, with poorer captives confined to dreadful lower-floor cells plagued by hunger and infectious diseases. Reflect on the resilience of the human spirit as the history and atmosphere of Chateau D’If intertwine with the captivating city, leaving visitors with a profound sense of awe and appreciation for justice’s pursuit.
Salem’s Halloween preparations begin early, with spooky decorations adorning the streets by October 1st. Throughout the month, you’ll find a plethora of Halloween-themed attractions, performances, and activities to enjoy. Join the Haunted Happenings Grand Parade, where participants showcase elaborate floats and vibrant pageantry along the streets surrounding Salem Common, Hawthorne Boulevard, and Essex, Central, and Charter Streets.
The most exciting thing, however, is immersing yourself in the haunting history of the Salem Witch Trials. Visit the most haunted houses in town and discover the eerie tale of the various “witches” who were tried and executed. Explore the Salem Witch Trials Memorial, Salem Psychic Fair, and Witches Market, and the Salem Witch Museum to deepen your understanding of this dark chapter in history.
Travel this Halloween with Jaya!
Traveling on Halloween offers a thrilling and memorable experience for those seeking unique celebrations and traditions. Whether it’s attending parades, exploring haunted attractions, or participating in costume parties, these destinations offer an abundance of excitement and a chance to create lasting memories. From the bewitching streets of Salem to the mysterious castles of Transylvania, each place has its own charm and traditions to offer.
So, if you’re ready to embark on an adventure filled with spooky delights and cultural wonders, contact Jaya Travel to get started! From flights and hotels to customized tours, we’ve got your whole trip covered!