Given that we have just witnessed Halloween, a celebration of all things spooky and otherworldly, we thought that we would take a look into some other events which take place around the world, which focus on the creepy and the more macabre side to things. There are in fact many of these events which we found around the globe, created by many different cultures and belief systems. Let’s take a look then at what these events are, why they exist, and what they focus on.
Banks of the Foyle Carnival – Derry, Ireland
This ghoulish festival has its roots in Halloween, and that is because that particular celebration came from the Celtic festival of Samhain, originating in Ireland. Each year over 80,000 people come to Derry to take part in this exciting and creepy festival which involves dressing up, fireworks and many market stalls selling spooky snacks and souvenirs.
Hungry Ghost Festival – China
There is a belief in many parts of China that during the month of August, the souls of the dead are roaming the planet, and they are hungry. It is believed that if these souls don’t find what they are looking for, that they will cause havoc and mischief, and this is why this particular festival exists. Throughout the month, offerings of food and gifts are made to these spirits, and there is always a wealth of entertainment which takes place throughout the month too.
Fed Gede – Haiti
Haiti and its Voodoo religion is well known for its focus on the importance of spirits, and this is a festival which seeks to pay homage to the spirits of the ancestors. This is very similar to Mexico’s famous Day of the Dead, with Haitians making offering to the dead and often visiting cemeteries where their ancestors have been buried. This event takes place each year on November 2nd, where offerings are made to Baron Samedi, who is the gatekeeper of the cemetery.
Festa della Befana – Italy
This is actually a festival which has its roots in Christianity, and it is a celebration of the Epiphany. This festival is celebrated on the eve of the Epiphany and it sees the good witch La Befana, arrive and deliver gifts to the children. Despite being a good witch, La Bafana is always depicted with a crooked nose and a haggard appearance, holding a broomstick. Each year across villages and towns in Italy there are people who will dress up as the witch and bring gifts to the children, as well as taking part in other activities.
Walpurgis Night – Europe
In many Baltic states, as well as Germany, Netherlands and Sweden, they celebrate Walpurgis Night, also known as Witches’ Night. This celebration is in honor of the German saint Walpurga, who was often depicted as a witch, despite her good nature. The festival features lots of huge bonfire, wine and enormous feasts. The playing of pranks is also seen as fair game during this night on April 30.
This post was inspired by our friends at Betway, who designed this cool infographic detailing other festivals of this ilk around the world.
Which of the three would you like to visit if you could?