Where's the best place to celebrate Halloween? In the land of the original Gaelic festival of Samhain, which is where Halloween originated, of course. The city of Derry, Northern Ireland, revived Halloween in a big way in 1986, and today the annual festival is one of the biggest Halloween parties in Europe. Last year, 75,000 people showed up.
The only remaining fully walled city in Ireland, Derry looks the part for Halloween. The massive stone walls that girdle the city and the Gothic Revival Guildhall just below the ramparts could be a set from a 1960s Hammer Film Productions horror flick. Families were walking about in full ghoulish makeup that would have made George Romero (“Night of the Living Dead’’) proud. We had stumbled into a Renaissance Faire crossed with a nightmare — in the best possible sense, of course.
We followed the throngs to the plaza in front of the Guildhall, where the Haunted Harvest Market was in high gear. We found vendors selling jewelry for every imaginable piercing, face painters who were creating the sunken eyes and random gashes to fit any type of undead character, and the street food vendors of “Hell’s Kitchen.’’ Band after band provided a soundtrack that ranged from traditional Irish music to Irish country to heavy metal rock.
And that was just the first day of the festival. Read more about Halloween in Derry at the Boston Globe. -via The Week
See also: The official website for Derry Halloween.
(Image credit: Flickr user Greg Clarke)