Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Hotels

The Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa in California, has their own resident ghost.
For those with smaller children a more controlled environment can be found at the many parties promoted. A Halloween package is offered at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale Arizona 85254 where they Have a director of FUN.
In old England cakes were made for the wandering souls at All Hallows an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of the dead but then it was wiped out in England when it was considered a "pagan" holiday.
In 601 A.D. Pope Gregory rather than try to obliterate native peoples' customs and beliefs, the pope instructed his missionaries to use them so the Irish brought the custom to America. Thanks to Pope Gregory, the day of the dead is celebrated in Mexico. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. Catholics take food to eat at the graveyards. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November.
The town of Ocotepec, north of Cuernavaca in the State of Morelos opens its doors to visitors in exchange for 'veladoras' (small wax candles) to show respect for the recently dead. In return, the visitors receive tamales and 'atole'. I stayed at the
Marriott Ixtapan de la Sal Hotel & Spa in the area.
In the Philippines, the holiday is called Araw ng mga Patay (Day of the Dead) and is an amazing time to visit a cemetery because it is celebrated similar to the Mexican celebration.
In the U.K., Halloween is being picked up from the USA but their biggest night is on November 5, Guy Fawkes to commemorate the successful foiling of the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Also known as Bonfire Night. A great place to visit to experience this is Hexham's popular fireworks extravaganza. They have a Band playing and a big Bonfire.
Visit the White Cliffs of Dover is Britain's supposedly most haunted castle. The spooky events at Dover Castle this Halloween will entertain kids with the legends then adults join a ghost walk through the castle and grounds. Another ancient site worth a visit is Anne Boleyn’s gruesome beheading site. Poor Anne’s headless ghost is said still to roam Blickling Hall.

I still feel it is decidedly pagan, never liked, visiting "haunted houses" or watching horror movies, though I did enjoy the bonfires at Guy Fawkes in England as a child.

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