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Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2023 will occur on Tuesday, October 31. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. best halloween parties in the world

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Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes, and eating treats.

 

The History of Halloween best halloween parties in the world

Halloween‘s roots can be found in the historic Samhain festival of the Celts (pronounced sow-in). On November 1, the Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in a region that is today primarily Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated the beginning of their new year.
On this day, summer, harvest, and the gloomy, chilly winter, which was sometimes a season of fatalities for people, came to an end. The night before the new year, according to the Celts, the line separating the living from the dead becomes hazy. On the evening of October 31, they observed Samhain, a time when it was thought that the spirits of the dead made a comeback to the planet.

By the 9th century, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted older Celtic rites.

In A.D. 1000, the church made November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It’s widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, church-sanctioned holiday.

All Souls’ Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints’ Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

History of Trick-or-Treating best halloween parties in the world

Borrowing from European traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today’s “trick-or-treat” tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.

dia de muertos

Halloween Parties

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide Halloween parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague some celebrations in many communities during this time.

By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated.

Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second-largest commercial holiday after Christmas.

Best Halloween Parties and Celebrations Around the World 2023

New Orleans Vampire Ball, USA

The Endless Night: New Orleans Vampire Ball event is a must-visit for Halloween enthusiasts. Hosted by a leading authority on vampire culture, this is no ordinary black-tie affair. It’s a masquerade ball and costume party with a gothic twist. Superhero costumes are out, while elaborate baroque costumes, fangs, masks, and formal vampire attire are highly encouraged.

Mexico/Latin America – Día de Muertos

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a significant annual holiday throughout Latin America, falling at the beginning of November. Families gather to honor those who have passed away. In Mexico City, festivities include a huge parade with costumed participants, dancing Catrinas (ceremonial skeletons), and floats. The city’s Zócalo (Central Square) features ofrendas (celebratory altars). For a unique experience, head south to the Xochimilco district for a special nighttime gondola ride along the area’s UNESCO-listed canals.

Salem Witches’ Ball, USA

Salem, famous for its historical witch trials, hosts the iconic Salem Witches’ Ball. Witch doctors lead rites and ceremonies, and there’s a chamber set aside for psychic readings at the event on October 26.

Dracula’s Halloween Party, Romania

Party in the shadow of Dracula inside an ancient castle on this 3-day tour with G Adventures. The party on the grounds of Bran Castle, Romania, promises an unforgettable experience. Explore the castle shrouded in mystery and spooky myths before the party begins.

New York City Village Halloween Parade

The New York Halloween Parade is a beloved tradition in the city. The parade brings a carnival of creativity and spookiness to Downtown, with New Yorkers competing to wear the most inventive costumes. The parade is free to attend. After the parade, head to Webster Hall for the official after-party, or join a ghost walking tour to keep the spooks going.

Derry Halloween, Northern Ireland

Derry Halloween in Northern Ireland is Europe’s largest Halloween festival. The festival combines Halloween festivities with Samhain rituals. Themed installations and activities across the city reflect different pagan themes each year. Don’t miss the Haunted Harvest Market and the Street Carnival Parade, which draws thousands of musicians, dancers, circus performers, and costumed spectators. The festivities culminate in a spectacular fireworks show above the River Foyle.

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