Halloween’s origin is a distance apart from the trick or treating and pumpkins we now associate it with. Although now the 31st October is a constant in the social calendar, Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, pronounced sow-in, during the 8th Century.
The Celtic new year began on 1st November, which also marked the end of both summer and harvest. There was a belief that during the last night of the year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred and that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
Costumes, usually incorporating animal furs and heads, were worn to ward off any potential returning ghosts. This is the one constant in the celebration that lives on to this day, minus the animal heads of course.
So, for those of you who to refuse to let the children have all the Halloween fun, here are a couple of the best cities to be amongst the action.
It is fair to say that Las Vegas embraces Halloween, and for many scare seekers, it is definitely on the bucket list. The city puts on endless amounts of parties, events and family-friendly attractions. The bars offer themed cocktails, and pretty much everyone is in costume. In short, if you just aren’t into it, then get out of town.
Las Vegas is famous for its scare zones, and the Fright Dome at Circus Circus looks to be a good place to start. Consisting of six haunted houses, including the likes of a zombie city, there is something for everyone.
The Trapped! Escape room also puts a nice twist on traditional escape rooms, in short by making them terrifying. As you try and solve the clues, you aren’t alone, with there being three levels of terror on offer. Make sure you pick appropriately if you happen to bring the kids along…
If you are more into using Halloween as an excuse to grab a drink, then the Las Vegas Halloween Pub Crawl is the event for you. You will be taken through some of the best bars on the strip and beyond and given that Vegas is coined The City of Sin, I am sure it does not disappoint.
Halloween in Mexico is based around Día de Los Muertos, which translates to The Day of the Dead. Celebrated on 2nd November, the festivities start on Halloween, and carry on for three days. The event welcomes back the souls of those who have passed, and with graves decorated in vibrant colour and candles, it is a spectacular sight to behold.
Celebration in Oaxaca is much more like a festival than the western celebration. Groups of musicians and horror characters put on a great atmosphere, all in fantastic vibrant costume. Picture dancing, and drinking throughout packed city streets, which also happen to be famed for Tequila production.
There are also endless colourful altars to take in, and the festival really embraces the works of local artists. Multiple tributes to the dead are created on colourful tapestries, and most the spectacular tribute can be found in the city’s main plaza, where sand is transformed into elaborate depictions of those no longer with us.