Spooktacular Halloween Traditions from Around the World
Spooky season is upon us and while that means costumes and candy here in the U.S., there are plenty of other ways this fall holiday is celebrated around the world. See below for how international destinations honor the day.
Day of the Dead - Ecuador
Ecuadorians celebrate Day of the Dead every year on November 2. A national holiday for families to visit their loved one’s graves and decorate them with flowers and other items, they will typically spend the afternoon there enjoying a picnic lunch. Following lunch, there are speeches by dignitaries and a big celebration that includes painted faces, music, dancing, food, drinks, and most importantly, colada dorado (a drink thickened with blue corn flour and berries) and guaguas de pan (bread in the shape of babies that are placed on the graves).
Travelers to Ecuador hoping to experience Day of the Dead need look no further than Quasar Expeditions. Offering luxury cruises around the Galapagos and land-based tours in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, among others, Quasar has excursions throughout the city centers that allow travelers to celebrate the holiday like a local.
Samhain - Scotland
Samhain, also known as Celtic New Year's Eve, is believed to be where modern-day Halloween originated from 2,000 years ago. Celts would celebrate New Year's Eve on October 31, traditionally marking the end of the summer and the beginning of the darker part of the year, and associated the holiday with death. Believing that the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead would become blurred the night before the New Year, Celts would gather together to create bonfires and sacrifice crops and animals to the deities. Today, the spooky festival is still celebrated with fortune-telling, lighting bonfires and feasting.
Travelers to Scotland looking to experience Samhain are invited to stay at The Glasshouse Hotel. Constructed in 1846 as a chapel, The Glasshouse Hotel creates a dramatic juxtaposition between the historic and gothic church façade, and the striking modern and luxurious space inside. The property features 77 bedrooms, cozy-contemporary interiors, warm Scottish service and spectacular views of the city center and Calton Hill, as well as a two-acre rooftop garden.
Ghost Tales- United States
In the U.S. Halloween is a holiday filled with plenty of tradition, including trick or treating, ghost stories and pumpkin carvings. One of America’s busiest ghosts, former First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln is said to haunt a variety of locations, including the White House and a resort in Manchester, VT. Mary had first visited the property during the summer of 1864 and had plans to return the following year with President Lincoln. Sadly, the two did not return to the hotel together as President Lincoln was assassinated that April. Eventually Mary made her way back to the property – in the form of an apparition. Guests and employees have seen the ghost of Mary along with a small child wandering throughout the hotel. There have also been reports of low whispers and cold chills passing through guests, items being moved to the left and guests being woken up in the night by lights flickering on unprompted.
Just 30 minutes away is this Stratton Mountain Contemporary Home in Winhall, Vermont. Available through luxury property and travel club THIRDHOME , this Stratton home is set on the highest peak in southern Vermont and offers breathtaking views of the 46-acre estate and the surrounding countryside. When they are done searching for ghosts, guests will delight in the Halloween activities available nearby including terrifying haunted houses and scenic pumpkin patches. The spacious home, which easily can accommodate 10 guests across 5,500 square feet, features an open floor plan and chef’s kitchen. The exquisite outdoor space has a fire pit and outdoor kitchen, a perfect place for families to sit around the fire while telling more stories.