Halloween is a time of the year that is absolutely jam packed with history, culture, and festivals. What was once one of the most important time of the year is now largely forgotten about. Below are some of the best things to do around the end of October and start of November.
SAMHAIN: Samhain is a Gaelic Pagan festival marking the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. It is held on the 1st of November, but with celebrations beginning on the evening of 31 October, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. The Celts who lived around 2,000 years ago, now celebrated their new year in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France.
WHERE TO SPEND IT? : The Dragon of Shandon festival in Cork, Republic of Ireland.
ABOUT THE DRAGON OF SHANDON: The dragon of Shandon festival is located along the historic pathways of the Shandon district in Cork City. The streets roar into life from fearful costumes, quality street foods, and the amazing 36 ft long dragon. As the star of the show wanders the streets it consolidates with ghouls, banshees, púcas, and other mischievous characters. Pack all of this together and you will get a carnival atmosphere busting with excitement.
HALLOWEEN?: Some believe Halloween is based on the Pagan festival of Samhain we just mentioned above. Others believe that Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, being the vigil of All Hallow’s Day. What everybody can agree on is that today people dress up in scary costumes and carve faces into pumpkins. This is arguably children’s favorite time of the year because of all the free sweets from trick or treating.
WHERE TO SPEND IT?: Derry Halloween in Derry, Northern Ireland.
DERRY HALLOWEEN: From the 28th of October to the 1st of November the city of Derry is turned into a living graveyard. Locals dress up in costumes such as ghosts and skeletons while live music plays throughout the streets. Since its first appearance in 1986, the festival has grown in popularity and welcomed over 120,000 visitors last year alone. Their website points out that they have got everything from broomstick making to cocktail shaking.
THE DAY OF THE DEAD: The Day of the Dead is also known as Dia De Los Muertos and takes place on the 1st of November. The festival that originates from Mexico is a Catholic celebration that involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Many people would visit the dead and leave what was once their favorite food or drink as a gift.
WHERE TO SPEND IT?: Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City, Mexico.
MEXICO CITY DAY OF THE DEAD FESTIVAL: James Bond fans will be familiar with the streets lined with fascinating costumes and colorful sugar skulls. As the famous parade marches through the streets during the daytime, you will notice a contrasting atmosphere during the evening. As the night sky hangs upon the people of Mexico, they show their respect to those you have passed away in graveyards and cemeteries throughout the city.
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