The Traveling Adjunct–Oct. 27, 2017

5 Places to Celebrate Halloween

Halloween will soon be upon us! Are you looking for somewhere to get your fright on?  Ever wonder how other places celebrate the spooky holiday?  Well here are five places and ideas to satisfy your ghoulish trip cravings!

1.  Finger Lakes Region, New York – Many people think of the Finger Lakes for wine tasting or a romantic getaway, but at Bristol Mountain in Canandaigua, New York, they have Scaerial Adventures where you can ride haunted zip-lines. It looks awesome!

2.  Estes Park, Colorado – The Stanley Hotel.  Yup, the hotel that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining, is supposedly really haunted and the hotel takes advantage of its reputation at Halloween! They celebrate the Twin Terror Weekends that include a murder mystery dinner, The Shining Ball and the Halloween Masquerade Party. So, if seeing or reading The Shining didn’t creep you out enough, you have another option.
3.  Northern, Ireland – I had to mention Ireland since it’s allegedly where Halloween began as the Celtic festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. Today, Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival in Derry is thought to be Europe’s biggest Halloween costume parade! One of the traditions is eating, a fruitcake (it’s not as gross as fruitcake we have in the US!) that has a hidden surprise baked inside that can tell your fortune! The celebration lasts for several days, topped off with fireworks on Oct. 31!

4.  Hong Kong – Okay, so it doesn’t technically fall on Halloween, but Yu Lan, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, arrives on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month. For 2017, that’s Sept. 5.  Similar in origin to that of Halloween in Europe, Yu Lan also incorporates the Chinese practice of ancestor worship. According to traditional Chinese belief, the seventh month of the lunar calendar is when restless spirits roam the earth. So, many Chinese appease the ghosts, while feeding their own ancestors.  You’ll see people tending roadside fires, burning faux money, and leaving food as offerings for ghosts and ancestors to use in the afterlife.

5.  Portugal – Pão-por-Deus (bread for God) – On November 1, children go door-to-door (just not in costume).  When neighbors answer, they cry out “Pão-por-Deus” to receive bread, trinkets, or candy. In the Portuguese islands of the Azores, children are given “caspiada” cakes, which are in the shape of the top of a skull!

Tina Vignali is an  English as a Second Language adjunct at the Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Campus. She writes a monthly travel-themed column for the CommuniCator. You can follow her trips around the block and journeys around the world in her travel blog Traveleidoscope.com.  Psst! You can also visit Traveleidoscope on Instagram and on Facebook!

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