Halloween or All Hallows Eve is by far our favorite annual celebration. Traditionally a Pagan turned Christian holiday for remembering the dead, today Halloween is a fully fledged festival treading the fine line between fun and fearsome. It’s a wonderful holiday that encourages people to embrace creativity, let go of your inhibitions and celebrate inner fears. Here’s Haute Culture’s top five global Halloween parties on our blood filled bucket list.
1. GREENWICH VILLAGE HALLOWEEN PARADE, NEW YORK CITY, USA
The NYC Halloween parade is the biggest in the world. Sexuality, politics and pop culture infuse through many of the costume designs and all combine to create a hedonistic spectacle of epic proportions. This year, 60,000 participants are expected to attend. The 2016 parade included a papier mache Trump, whilst the 2001 parade was themed ‘Phoenix Rising’. A phoenix puppet led the parade to represent the strength of New Yorkers in the wake of 9/11. A troupe of dancing rod-puppet skeletons always lead the way, dancing through the streets of the city for one day of the year, celebrating the life and soul of NYC.
31st October 2017
2. DIA DE MUERTOS, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO.
Whilst The Day of the Dead is not a Halloween celebration, it falls from 31 October – 2nd November and embodies the spirit of the traditional meaning. During the three-day celebration, the thin veil separating the spirit world from the living is said to lift. There are massive Day of the Dead celebrations across Mexico. We recommend San Miguel de Allende, which marks the celebrations with the weeklong Festival La Calaca (Skull Festival). On Janitzio island in Michoacan, locals hold a meditation on the dead and carry offerings to their graves, keeping vigil until dawn. Mexico City also now holds a Day of the Dead parade, thanks to James Bond’s Spectra which shows a fictional depiction of the festival in a parade.
Dates vary, 28 October-5 November
3. WHITBY GOTH WEEKEND, WHITBY, ENGLAND
Held in England’s spookiest town, this massive coming together of goths on the North coast is like one big family gathering. Whilst the name can seem inclusive, it is essentially a celebration of anything counter culture, alternative or ‘weird’. Scores of bands play music over the weekend against the hauntingly beautiful back drop of Whitby Abby, which was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for his novel Dracula in 1897. There are plenty of strong styles on display, with many drawing influences from Steampunk and Gothic Victoriana. You can also pick up your fashion and costume wares at the Bizarre Bazaar which runs over the weekend.
27-28th October 2017
4. CARNIVAL OF LOST SOULS, DERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND.
Whilst Derry in Northern Ireland may not seem like the most obvious choice for a huge Halloween celebration, locals say it makes sense. Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient festival Samhein, when the dead returned to walk the earth for one night before the Celtic New Year on 1 November. The whole city now throws itself into the celebrations, which run from 28 October and culminate in a massive parade with fireworks on the 31st. Amongst the festivities are Jack-o-lantern competitions (you can carve an Irish turnip or pumpkin), immersive ghost hunting walks and a monster funfair. It was even voted the Best Halloween Destination in the World in 2016.
28-31st October 2017
5. NEW YEARS EVE OF THE VAMPIRES, BRAN CASTLE, ROMANIA
How does spending the night with Dracula and friends at his castle in Transylvania sound? Er, yes please! Bran Castle in Romania holds a fully immersive Dracula themed Halloween party where actors recreate scenes from the book and the guests are all a part of the performance. Extravagant dress is a must, and there are prizes for the winners. Vlad the Impaler, who was known for using stakes to impale his victims, is said to have stayed at the castle in the 15th century. Vlad inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula character and both shall make an appearance on the night. Guests can choose to flee the castle after a midnight tour, or continue to dance with the vampires till dawn at a party in the grounds.
28th October 2017
Do you love Halloween as much as us? Where is your favourite destination to get your freak on? Please share your experiences, ideas and suggestions in the comments box below.
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