October is a time when leaves change colors, the air becomes crisp and houses are decorated for Halloween. Many of us dress up, go to parties or go trick or treating with family and friends, but how about this year you do something different? How about heading somewhere new on a Halloween vacation?
The tradition of Halloween dates back nearly 2,000 years, and surprisingly it didn’t start in America. It began in Ireland, and today, is celebrated all over the world! Every country and city has their own version of this spooky holiday, and we want to experience them all. We’ve selected our top 5 must-visit international Halloween vacations, and we’re sharing them with you.
The tradition of Halloween started nearly 2,000 years ago in Ireland and it’s no wonder people flock to Dublin to celebrate this holiday. When the holiday first started, many tribes would burn bonfires long into the night and sacrifice animals to the Gods in hopes of surviving winter. Today this tradition isn’t carried on in most inner cities, but other traditions are. Carving Jack-o-lanterns? Yes, that was a Celtic tradition, except they used to carve turnips. In the US, everyone dresses up for Halloween. Well, they do in Ireland too. This also dates back to the Celtic ancestors, who used to wear animal skins and heads. Today most people in Ireland don’t wear animal skins as a costume, but they do dress up.
Before you head out for a spooky and fun Halloween, be sure to try Colcannon, a traditional Halloween meal made with boiled potatoes, kale and raw onions; or give barnbrack a try, which is a type of fruit cake. Both dishes might include something hidden inside to help wish a happy and successful new year, so watch where you bite. Okay, now that you’ve eaten, get dressed up and head into town. While you are out, give Snap apple a try. It’s a twist on bobbing for apples, where an apple is hung from a string, and you can’t use your hands while you try to get a good bite of the apple. Ireland is full of traditions, and Halloween is definitely a great time to visit.
Halloween in Germany? Well there are costumes, pumpkins and parties, but it’s not just your typical American holiday over here! Trick or treating isn’t popular in Germany, except maybe a few major cities. Instead, children wait until St. Martinstag (St. Martin’s Day) to celebrate just a few days after Halloween, and go door to door with their lanterns, singing and getting baked goods and other treats. Instead, many Germans will dress up for Halloween, usually in scary costumes, unlike in America. Halloween is also a time when many nightclubs and neighbors throw parties that involve dancing long into the night. Many American’s love the art of pumpkin carving and so do the Germans! Starting in mid-October you’ll find carved pumpkins lining doorsteps and neighborhoods. Germany might not be where you think to go for Halloween, but we are ready to go check it out.
Hong Kong probably wasn’t on your mind when you thought about traveling for Halloween right? Honestly, until recent years, it wasn’t really celebrated. But today, many of the youth are really into this holiday. I mean, who doesn’t love the opportunity to dress up and have some fun, right? While visiting, you’ll notice that most spooky decorations and Halloween vibes are found in shopping malls and at popular theme parks, like Disneyland. Trick or treating isn’t popular in Hong Kong, but there’s no shortage of people dressing up, going out to nightclubs and having fun with friends. Many people will give discounts for those dressed up, and some places will have a special Halloween menu. Next time you want a unique Halloween vacation, consider going to Hong Kong.
Halloween, in some parts of France, is seen as controversial; but where it is celebrated, they go all out! Think scary costumes (no cute princess and superheroes), candy, trick or treating and late night parties with friends and family. One city you will want to visit, if you love everything Halloween, is Limoges, France. This city is seen under a whole new light at the end of October. There are parades, festivals, themed fairs and so much more, all celebrating this spooky holiday. Be sure to spend some time wandering the streets, taking in the variety of events and stopping by the storytelling festival to be swept away to another time and place, but without the long flight. France offers an incredibly unique Halloween experience, and if you ask us, it’s worth adding to anyone’s bucket list.
We couldn’t recommend Halloween vacation without mentioning London, England. London is a city known for it’s creepy dungeons, mystic buildings, haunting alleys and the infamous Jack the Ripper. If you’re searching for haunting, fun and mystery, London is the perfect Halloween vacation! You’ll be able to experience unique sightseeing tours dedicated to Halloween, partake in costume contests, and enjoy the parades and club events. If you are looking to do something a little different for the holidays, consider adding a Halloween theatre production or touring a museum at night while you are here. There are even family-friendly Halloween options for those with children or who just don’t like to be scared. Trust us, with so much to do and the history this city offers, London is a must for everyone.
Love celebrating Halloween in another international city? Share with us on our Facebook.