Festivals are joyous occasions but there are some festivals which are downright spooky. Some of these festivals date back to hundreds of years and some are quite new. Ghosts and spirits and the dead are remembered with much gusto, and instead of fun masks, you may be surrounded by creepy skeletons. Still, it is an unforgettable experience. Check out these spookiest festivals from around the world and maybe one day you might want to join in the spooky fun:
10 spookiest festivals around the world
Hungry Ghost Festival, China
This could be one of the creepiest festivals, as it even reserves front row seats for ghosts to attend. It is actually a form of ancestor worship, as the Chinese believe that their dead relatives come to visit them in the seventh month of lunar calendar. The families prepare the ghost’s favorite food, arrange for their entertainment with stage performances outdoors, in the evening. People burn incense, offer televisions, paper money and cars, in the hope of these accessories making life after death comfortable for their dearly departed relations!
Kukeri Festival, Bulgaria
The Kukeri festival is named after the Kukeri dancers who specialize in dancing to frighten evil spirits away. It’s one of the spookiest festivals, as their creepy costumes are enough to frighten almost anybody who sees them, dead and alive! The festival is celebrated in the last part of January every year in Pernik, Bulgaria, and thousands of Kukeri come to the city, dressed in their creepiest best! For those who love the ghoulish, this festival is right up their alley.
Vegetarian festival, Phuket
Never thought that anything related to vegetarian could be spooky? But it can be, as can be seen by the gory vegetarian fest in Phuket. The fest started in 1825, to please the gods by eating vegetarian food, for nine days in Sept and October. The people have the weirdest traditions, such as piercing the faces with completely freaky items, such as skewers, flagpoles, axes and anything sharp and dangerous. The gods are said to protect the participants from getting infected and falling ill.
Day of the Dead/Dia de Muertos, Mexico
Mictecacihuatl, the skull adorned Goddess of the Netherworld was supposed to be the patron of this festival originally. But now, on November 1 -2 every year, the Mexican people commemorate their dead, as it is believed that spirits are able to return to earth on these two days. It’s one of the spookiest festivals of the world which is marked by the most colorful skeletons being worn by the people.
Roswell UFO festival, USA
In the year 1947, an unknown aircraft crashed in a field near Roswell. It started off speculation that the ship was an UFO, and aliens had crashed into Earth. There is a UFO festival which happens every year, with people speaking on UFOs, participating in costume contests, etc.
Wave-Gotik-Treffen, Leipzig, Germany
The Goth festival is one of the spookiest festivals of the world, as it features the world’s darkest arts and music. Thousands of people attend the spectacular festival in Leipzig annually.
Balls of Fire festival, El Salvador
This festival is not to be taken lightly, if you ever attend it. You have to be extremely careful when you’re standing on the sidelines, not to get caught in the firing. People throw kerosene soaked balls of fire at one another in the night. The fight supposedly signifies the fight between good and evil, between St, Jerome and the devil, or the eruption of the Nejapa volcano. Whatever be the reason, the firefight is dangerous and scary without doubt, as fireballs are slung at the crowd, into the distance and at each other.
Phi Ta Khon, Thailand
The young people make ghostly costumes, including oversized scary masks made from coconut tree bases. The festival may have scary dresses, but as it is believed that it has roots in Buddhist tales, the last of the three-day festival is marked by people listening to the Buddha’s 13 sermons.
Entroida Festival, Spain
Image Source : ffemagazine.com
Talk about the weirdest traditions and this festival takes the cake. It is celebrated on the three Fridays before the Lent, and the weekend and Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The long festival finds people running amok on the streets inebriated with torches in their hands, and those who stay home, dump heaps of mud from balconies/windows to purify the runners.
Masked men line the streets and whip passers-by, and when they become tired, barge into homes and drink and eat their full. This is not all – at the end of the festivities, the people gather in town square and fight with great gusto, throwing rags which are filled with fire ants, dirt, mud, ash and vinegar!
Zombie walk, US
Zombie walks first began in the North America, but they occur all over the world now. These walks are mostly just fun, but they are also organized as ‘hunger marches’ too, to raise the awareness of world hunger.