Tag Archives: halloween

5 Reasons Why Halloween in Dublin Should Be On Your Bucket List

By Molly Dunn

In the spirit of creepy masks, candy corn and pumpkins, Halloween has developed into one of America’s favorite holidays.  Maybe it’s the sea of sugar skulls, and all of the Disney Channel references to Dia de los Muertos that we grew up with, but, we all seem convinced that Halloween began just across the United States border in Mexico.

I have something really spooky to tell you, something shocking, and even maybe a bit terrifying…the real origin lies in a place where not a soul would think to look…Ireland. We all know that the Irish like to party, and we dress up in green every St. Patty’s day to celebrate with the charmingly accented crew, but who knew they also founded Halloween! 

What started as the pagan festival of Samhain, Halloween as know it now, was a Celtic festival of fire meant to ward off evil spirits as summer changed into winter. In time, October 31st developed from the festival of Samhain, to ‘All Hallows Eve’, to Halloween.

So, now that we all know that Halloween originated in Ireland, it’s becoming clear why going to Ireland for Halloween weekend is a must. There are tons of festivals, parties and celebrations on this spooky day. Who could imagine a better place to be than the country’s capital on the spookiest day of the year? Here is a list of 5 things to do in Dublin, this Halloween.

  1. Monsters! Season at Light House Cinema. This year the Bram Stoker Festival has partnered with Light house Cinema, located just across from The Generator Hostel, in Smithfield square, to offer a series of showings of horror classics. Offering €6.50 matinees and €8.00 nighttime showings. Celebrate the monsters of the 30s by means of watching The Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, and of course, Dracula. Get your tickets in advance here

  1. Bleedin’ Deadly Referred to as ‘Ireland’s freakiest Halloween Event’, experience what is left of the dying street performing art that was once Freak shows. With two shows per night, one at 6:45pm followed by a 9:45pm showing, don’t miss the madness! Buy your tickets online at for €25. For the post show hit up the pub Church for two for one drinks!

  1. Nightmare Plants For €10 visit Dublin’s Botanical Gardens for an ‘immersive performance, told by an ensemble of actors’. Each show is about 30 minutes and brings you face to face with mother natures deadliest creations.  Check out all the details here.

  1. Werewolves Participate in this high energy, high stakes parlor game, any evening of Halloweekend. The concept of this game is simple. There are werewolves among you, a villager was stolen away by them. Now the villagers meet to discuss their strategy, electing a leader. You must be careful as there are werewolves among you, waiting to out number the scared humans. The werewolves aim to subsume the village and it’s survival of the fittest for the villagers. Admission is free but you must get a ticket to participate. Play Friday night at Generator Hostel starting at 7:30pm. Arrive early, grab a drink and get ready to play! Book your tickets here.

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  1. Stokerland Visit this ‘pop-up Victorian fun park’ on Saturday or Sunday, for a ‘gothic gathering of fun and cames’ in St. Patricks Park. Admission is free, get dressed up and feel like a kid again at this family friendly halloween event! Halloween in Dublin should be on everyone’s bucket list, and you have the chance to cross it off early! Visit bramstokerfestival.com to find out more information and events for this Halloween! Whether you attend this ghoulish festival, or parade around Dublin’s incredibly fun Pubs, you can’t go wrong spending Halloween in it’s birthplace, Dublin.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, here’s another reason!  Bus2alps just dropped the Ireland Coast 2 Coast trip to €135 for Halloween weekend…. I can’t think of a better time to go!  

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Halloween in Italy, a time for innovation

The weather is getting a bit chillier and the yearning to gut a pumpkin lingers in the air. It’s obviously time to dress as something scary or scandalous and eat a ton of sugar. Students studying abroad may be nervous that their Halloween traditions may be in danger. Fear not, the Celtic holiday is in full force in abroad cities with large American student populations. Because why would we sit this one out? Halloween is dope. Here’s what you have to look forward to.

  • Food

The best part of any holiday is the food and Halloween is particularly fun to dress up your drinks and snacks. So, get in the spookiest mood possible by making yourself a Bloody Rum Punch or a Corpse Survivor!

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  • Costumes

You’re gonna have to roll up your sleeves and DIY your costume this year so use the God-given gift of Google to lend a helping hand. There won’t be a plethora of discount costume stores like in America. You’re going to have to really want to be a hot zombie or a scantly clad school girl this year. These will be exciting times and can show just how creative your new friends can be.

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Although Halloween isn’t an Italian holiday, let’s face it, you’re surrounded by Americans and you won’t look like a freak if you go out to the bar in a costume that night. If you’ll be traveling during Halloween, make sure to  dress in theme like a Greek god for a Greece Long Weekend.

  • Walking tours

Get creeped out by your abroad city. It’ll be awesome to sign up for a haunted tour of Florence to explore ancient prisons, ghost stories and spooky allies in your home abroad.ancient prisons, medieval ghosts. Or how about hearing of the less romantic side of Roma? Less amore and accordion playing and and more-so sinister executions.

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And so, your Halloween celebration won’t necessarily be handed to you like candy this year. It’s all about having fun with fellow spooky fans and make your own fun. Have a DIY costume contest with your friends and brew some dangerously delicious concoctions. Whatever you do, don’t be a quitter, have a blast!

Halloween Costume: European Style

By Jillian Giannelli

With Halloween right around the corner, many are a little confused as to how this tradition will take place while they are studying abroad in Europe. Well, let me give you a little insight. Yes, Halloween is still cool in Europe. Mostly in Ireland, but whatever, let’s embrace it. We’ve Americanized everything else about Europe already so what’s another holiday? However, I can assure you, your Snooki costume probably won’t be greatly appreciated. Afterall, they didn’t even like the real Snooki when she was living in Firenze. So now it’s time to get creative. Think Euro. I have come up with some nifty costumes that you can get away with in your own EuroAmerican world.

You can dress up as:

1.  A Greek God: You all know you had an amazing time wearing a toga at the Pink Palace in Corfu and you’re just dying to wrap yourself in a sheet one more time. Or, you had a momentary lapse of judgment, didn’t go to Greece, and had major FOMO of your friends dancing around and taking shots of Ouzo in their sexy Greek getup.

2.  William and Kate: If you want to be cheesy with your bestie, dress up as the royal couple. Everyone loves a good Will & Kate costume. And you can get it at like Zara or H&M. Easy.

3.  Bavarian Laborer: So I’m sure your parents were thrilled when you spent 100 euro on your lederhosen at Oktoberfest. Gotta love wearing something once and never touching it again. Well, this is your chance to make the most of it! If you wear it again on October 31 st, it was 100 euro well spent. Plus, it’s an excuse to rage like you did in Munich. Gotta get into character, right?

4.  Pinocchio: As you wander around the streets of Italy, it’s hard not to be hypnotized by all the Pinocchio and Geppetto trinkets. Stand outside his house in Florence and tourists will think you’re really him!

5.  The Eiffel Tower: Yes, the costume exists. I’m not making it up. Check it out here!

6.  The Pope: Everyone loves the Pope. And everyone will love you too. Keep it classy and respectful. And don’t pull a EuroTrip move and accidentally declare yourself the new Pope. As long as you don’t walk around swinging the cross in the air, I think it would be appropriate.

7.  Gypsy: Instead of walking around begging for money, go around to different bars asking for shots. “Help me, I’m poor.” You never know, it could work.

8.  Flamenco Dancer: Sexy and cultural. Legit. Maybe learn a few moves before Halloween and dance through the cobblestone streets.

9.  Carnivale Costume: So technically, Carnivale is like the Halloween of Europe. But since that takes place during Spring semester, I think it would be okay to celebrate a little early. Buy a mask from the market for 3 euro and pretend it’s February.

Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with! Oh and, Bus2Alps loves candy if you wanna drop some by the office 😉

Halloween in Europe

By Lisa Harvey

This blog was originally featured on ubumm.  To view the original post, click here.

Unless you’re studying in Ireland this semester, you may not find the same amount of ghouls and goblins walking the cobblestone streets. Halloween is a tricky holiday for Europe – its history, riddled with changes and restructures, has created the “monster” of a holiday that now exists back home in the states. The night of witches and warlocks began as a Celtic holiday called Samhain, a day when the end of summer was celebrated and the souls that had died in the past year were released into the afterlife. People would disguise themselves as demons to make sure these souls didn’t make a detour into their bodies on this magical night. Thus, costumes began.

Through history, as religions evolved, the Celts were dominated by the Romans, who created a pagan approach to the holiday and brought in the tradition of offering sacrifices of food and drink to the souls that had passed. Finally, the Catholic Church gained power and began to remold the pagan holidays into what would be recognized as the Christian religion. All Saints Day was established in lieu of Samhain, prayer replaced the pagan sacrifices of October/November (though soul cakes – to help the souls make it to heaven- were still popular) and bonfires, instead of being lit to celebrate the sun, were lit to keep the devil away.

Interestingly, Halloween in America didn’t gain any ground until the mass immigrations from Ireland in the late 1800s. Before that, the Puritan pilgrims had refused to have the Halloween tradition anywhere close to their communities. But the Irish brought it with strength, and many in the Victorian Era took the holiday to heart and began creating the publicized contests and scare shows Halloween is made of today.

Here in Europe, the holiday still runs rampant in Ireland and is gaining a recognizable nod in countries like Italy now that media pushes American traditions. Though the United States is still the leader in ghost stories and the infatuation with everything undead, in Europe it is still more of a religious holiday, especially in the Catholic countries. All Saints’ Day is the “reason for the season” but you’ll probably still get a few nods of approval if you put your best vampire teeth on and walk to the bars. Everyone likes a good scare.

Happy Halloween!