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The world’s most frightening annual festivals

28 Oct The world’s most frightening annual festivals

With the annual Halloween celebrations upon us, we wanted to look at some of the other frightening festivals taking place annually from around the world that will rival any of the scariest Halloween carvings you attempt to make. According to a recent article by Betway Casino, it seems that some festivals are dedicated to ending the Winter months while others try and get rid of the devil…

Spain – Dance of Death

This Catalan festival happens during Easter in Maundy Thursday in the northern town of Verges, near to Costa Brava. It involved two men and three children dressed as skeletons while dancing to the beat of a drum. It is a representation of the life and crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Hungary – Busó Carnival  

An annual celebration that take place in February in the town of Mohács, Hungary. The celebration features people wearing scary masks and includes folk music and lasts six days. This festival is all about scaring away the Winter season, so the scarier the mask the better it is for those participating. It has become so popular that people from neighbouring countries such as Croatia, Serbia and Poland also come to participate in this festival.

Guatemala – La Quema del Diablo

At 6pm in December 7th you will find Guatemalans “burn the devil” by erecting giant bonfires in their local neighbourhoods with this tradition having a special significance in Guatemala City as honours their city’s patron saint. According to the legend, Guatemalans believe that the devil resides in their home, and can even be hiding in their rubbish bins. Hence why some then turn to burn their trash on the eve of the feast.

Miguel Alfredo Álvarez, a historian specializing in Guatemala City was speaking to The National Geographic: “It’s a very special day because it marks the official start of the Christmas season as families come together after the burning to eat buñuelos, traditional donuts, and drink warm fruit punch.”  

Lithuania – Užgavėnės

A Lithuanian festival that takes place on Ash Wednesday between February and March which is again designed to chase away the Winter. This also involves people dressing up in scary masks and costumes that take part in street parades while shouting “Žiema, žiema, bėk iš kiemo!” which translates to “winter, winter, run out of the yard!’” The tradition also involves eating copious amounts of pancake which according to tradition in that part of the world, the more you eat, the richer and healthier you will be. By night-time, an effigy that represents winter called Morė is set alight, symbolising warmer days and the end of the season.

Bulgaria – Kukeri

A Bulgarian tradition that happens in January which involves people dressed up in elaborate costumes while performing rituals in a parade that are meant to scare away the evil spirits with the ringing of bells echoes around local villages.  At the end of the  parade  villagers would gather together in the village square while dancing wildly and amuse the local people.