In the days of Halloween or Halloween, which many call without hesitation the "scariest" holiday of the year, we searched for other, no less scary holidays celebrated around the world. Read about what they are, what their characteristics are and where they take place in the article.
Let's see which holidays besides Halloween are dark and fill us with strange feelings.
Halloween is an extremely popular holiday in the United States, as well as in other parts of the world. In fact, it is an abbreviation for "All Hallow's Eve" or "Hallow Eve". While this holiday is Christian, it has its roots in Gaelic pagan rites.
2. Dia de los Muertos, Mexico
The Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos coincides with Halloween and is also a fusion of the Christian holiday of All Saints' Eve and All Saints' Day with indigenous religious traditions. Dia de los Muertos began as an Aztec holiday in honor of the goddess Mictecacihuatl, and was later mixed with Christian tradition during the European colonization of Mexico. Outside of Mexico, the holiday is known for its colorfulness and spectacular yet haunting aesthetic.
3. Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night, Great Britain
"Remember, remember, the fifth of November, the gunpowder, treason, and plot," begins the rhyme in England. This one recalls the attempt and failure of a group of Catholic radicals who wanted to blow up the English Parliament. The holiday includes the ritual burning of an effigy of Guy Fawkes, the group's most memorable member. In the past, the holiday had various anti-Catholic undertones and sometimes an effigy of the Pope was burned instead of Fawkes, but nowadays it is celebrated with a giant bonfire and fireworks.
4. Festival of Lights, Asia
The Festival of Lights is celebrated all over Asia and has different backgrounds, in China the holiday is said to be celebrated as a ritual to confirm the end of winter and the return of light. Elsewhere, festivals are celebrated on the autumnal equinox, which coincides more closely with Halloween. It is one of the world's most beautiful haunted festivals, where people release thousands of floating lanterns into the night sky, which used to symbolize letting go of the old self and welcoming the new.
READ MORE: Jack Nicholson: 15 quotes that will conjure the atmosphere of Halloween
5. Hungry Ghost Festival, China
Hungry Ghost is a Buddhist holiday where people remember the dead with respect. The holiday is also closely related to ancestor worship. To honor fallen life companions, many Buddhists leave empty seats with plates of food for the dead. The holiday has many variations: with lights, performances and bonfires.
6. Up Helly Aa, Shetland Islands, Scotland
Up Helly Aa, a festival with a Viking twist, is an extremely picturesque festival in Scotland's Shetland Islands. It is celebrated at the end of the Christmas season. The biggest festival takes place in Lerwick and consists of a torchlight procession that ends with torches being thrown into burning Viking ships.
7. Gai Jatra, Nepal
Gai Jatra, the cow festival, is a Nepalese holiday that remembers people who have died in the previous year. Cows are brought to the festival by those who lost a family member that year. Sometimes the cow can be confused with little boys dressed as cows. Although there are macabre elements to the festival, most of the time this holiday is much more endearing than other celebrations of the dead. The festival is said to begin with the death of King Hind's son. He wanted to see the queen smile again, so he prepared a festival where he was supposed to reward anyone who could make the queen laugh. Today, the festival is full of jokes, satire and ridicule.
8. Famadihana, Madagascar
Famadihana is sure to be a winner among festivals dedicated to the dead. The ritual in Madagascar is known as "turning the bones". Relatives literally dig a path to the dead, wrap the corpses and dance with them. The tradition stems from the belief that the dead cannot fully enter the afterlife until they have fully decomposed, which can take many years.
9. Wilder Mann
Wilder Mann is not a specific holiday, but a collection of photos of the costumes of many European pagan rituals by the French photographer Charles Fréger. One of the widespread characters in these rituals is the "Wilder Mann" (wild man), who is half man and half animal. It is proof that even though a large part of Europe is globalized, there are still the seeds of ancient paganism practiced on the continent.
Adapted and adapted from: