If you’re heading away for an autumnal break, why not tie it in with some Halloween festivities? From traditional celebrations to high-energy party nights, we discover some of the best places to enjoy Halloween around the world.
When most of us think of Halloween, we think of ghoulish fancy dress, carved pumpkins and an abundance of sweets. While in the UK, Ireland and USA this is how Halloween is celebrated, in other parts of the world — such as Spain and South America — it is a far more traditional affair.
Three-day Mexican Halloween celebrations
In Mexico’s most popular holiday destination – Cancun, you can enjoy Halloween a month before high season while holiday prices are still low, where the three day celebration culminating in El Dia de los Muertos or ‘Day of the Dead’ runs from the evening of October 31 until November 2. Far from a sombre affair, it is a celebration that honours relatives who have passed away. Gravesides are decorated with candles, photos, flowers and streamers as well as traditional foods. Temporary altars are also set up in people’s homes and can be found at restaurants and even the airport. To soak up the atmosphere you could visit Xcaret Mayan theme park’s Festival de Tradiciones de Vida y Muerte, which, as well as having spectacular displays and shows, also educates visitors on the Mayan festival traditions. Or why not head to one of Cancun’s Day of the Dead parties, usually on 2nd November? The celebrations continue long into the night.
Northern Spanish fiestas and spook nights
In Northern Spain, where Celtic traditions are still prevalent, Halloween is celebrated with enthusiasm and tradition. Halloween fiestas are held in bars across Barcelona and Catalonia on October 31st, and festivities continue on November 1st — a public holiday — with the Catalan tradition of La Castanyada. The All Saints’ Day festival combines music and events with stalls selling seasonal delicacies such as chestnuts and sweet wine. To really get you in the mood, you could take a trip to the Horror and Fantasy Film Festival in nearby San Sebastian, which runs from October 31 – November 6, 2015. If you hanker for monsters, zombies and witches then head to PortAventura theme park near Salou, where Halloween is celebrated with everything from night-time terror walks to children’s fun parades. Many of our hotels and resorts offer free entry to PortAventura park.
Vegas parties hard
A city that does everything on a grand scale is Las Vegas, and Halloween is no exception! The casinos all get involved by decorating and hosting lavish Halloween balls and all-night parties on 31st October. The city’s 6th Annual Las Vegas Halloween Parade will be held on Fremont Street on October 31st, 2015. You can join the scary, bizarre and funny costumed parade-goers or just find a good vantage point such as 13th Street or 7th Street on Fremont. A free after-party is held on 3rd Street with all ages welcome.
French Village Fun
Stepping back from the commercial excitement of Halloween, in small towns and villages all over France, Witches’ Festivals or Fetes des Sorcieres take place. The event is linked to the witch trials of the 16th and 17th Century when supposed witches were tortured and killed for practicing the dark arts. Daytime events usually involve workshops and street theatre, with concerts, fire shows and a witches’ parade going on into the night.
Are you spending Halloween somewhere extra spooky?