The eve of the hallows has arrived. As face paints are moistened, clothes are shredded and the last drops of fake blood are squeezed, the world gears up for its annual evening of scares, pranks and terrors. But while we’re all familiar with the trick or treating rituals and the pumpkin carving customs, some rather different quirk-tastic celebrations are being held around the world. Take a look at our pick of the top five unique Halloween events from across the globe.
Duck Hunting - Janitzio, Mexico
Mexico’s equivalent of Halloween comes in the form of El Día de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead. The small island of Janitzio, in Patzcuaro Lake, is famed for its elaborate celebrations, which begin on the morning of October 31st. Hunters set sail on the lake in wooden canoes to spear shoot ducks, which are then cooked and prepared with a spicy chilli pepper sauce to create a dish known as Pato Enchilado (chilli duck). Together with an endemic white fish, the Pato Enchilado is later offered to the dead souls on a specially created Day of the Dead altar.
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Underwater Pumpkin Carving - Florida
The Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo added a rather unusual twist to pumpkin carving this year. 30 divers took to the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, bearing carving knives and giant orange gourds. Naturally buoyant, pumpkins are a difficult object to sustain underwater, but the divers worked their magic to create their masterpieces, leaving a terrifying orange scarefest hovering under the pristine waters.
See it for yourself on a trip to the Florida Keys.
Urban Trekking - Italy
Urban trekking on All Saints Eve has become quite the craze in Italy. All Saints Day is a Catholic celebration of the dead that takes place on November 1st, but it’s the night before that the ghosts come out to play. Taking place in numerous Italian cities, Urban Trekking hosts guided ghost walks to some of the city’s most haunted attractions. From medieval towers, to spooky castles and abandoned crypts, the tour unveils the mysterious secrets and horror stories of these spooky sites.
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Kite Flying – Sumpango, Guatemala
To celebrate All Saints Day on November 1st, the small town of Sumpango holds an annual kite flying festival on a sacred hill overlooking the main cemetery. Locals spend months crafting their kites using bamboo and coloured tissue - often etching a political message to its front, and come sundown the giant masterpieces are launched. Soaring above the cemetery, the kites are quickly torn to shreds by the high winds: a ritual to symbolise the life and death of those being celebrated on this commemorative day.
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Costume Ball – Transylvania
Where better to celebrate Halloween than Dracula’s homeland? In the mystical hills of Transylvania, you can discover the haunted history of this iconic region. On the eve of October 31st, a costume ball is held in Dracula’s Castle, featuring gypsy musicians, bonfires and even a creepy vampire wedding ceremony conducted by a local monk! Yet perhaps the biggest fright comes in the form of a trip down to the castle dungeons to witness the infamous coffin that haunts the cells.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN FOLKS!