The annual celebration of All Hallows’ Eve is a recently acquired event in Hungary. Although it’s not rooted in the country’s history, however it is gaining more and more popularity each year, mostly among the younger crowd.
The origins of Halloween can be found in many cultures around the world. The end of October is a time of great change in the climate and for that reason, in people’s lives as well. According to some folklorists, the roots of All Hallows’ Eve can also be traced back to the times of the Roman Empire, to the feast of Pomona, who is the goddess of fruits and seeds, and the festival of the dead, called Parentalia. This time of the year represents the end of the harvest and the beginning of the colder, “darker half” of the year. The most important aspect of this holiday is the connection between our world and the transcendent spirit world. Legends say that 31 October is the day when the line between the living and the dead are the thinnest. As means to keep the evil spirits away from their realm, the ancient Celts held a ritual that day, where they built huge bonfires and made sacrifices to the Celtic deities wearing costumes made of animal skin and heads. This was, presumably, the origin of the Halloween costumes which are the most popular part of the celebration nowadays.
In Hungary the day of the dead is celebrated in a wholly different fashion. Instead of All Hallows Eve in 31 October, as in the American tradition, Hungarians honour the feast of All Saints Day on 1 November, which is a calmer, more intimate festivity about loved ones that passed away. On this day, Hungarian families usually visit the grave of their late relatives and light candles for their memory.
The night of the 31 October in Budapest however, is mostly about partying. Lot of the nightclubs are organizing costume parties, as the younger generation in the city are more open to the American way of celebrating the event. Carved pumpkins and Halloween decorations can be found embellishing windows and gardens all around Budapest, Trick or Treating however is not common in the country…yet.
If you plan to take part in the Halloween nightlife of Budapest, you should definitely consider looking up our special Halloween Party Ship program, as it is the perfect way to start a scary good night.