Come Halloween and the world gears up for all that is spooky. People observe time-honoured traditions like carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, trick-or-treating and dressing up for costume parties. But the biggest party of them all takes place in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland, which plays host to the Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival.
The festival is held every year during the last days of October. It features many fun-filled activities designed to make your hair stand on end, like ghost tours, creepy story-telling, visits to haunted houses, screening of horror movies etc. The Dragon Safari event is very popular with children — hunting down colourful dragons lurking behind the trees in St Columb’s Park is nothing short of an adventure!
For the first time, the 2012 event is going to have a Shape Shifters Catwalk contest where participants will compete for the scariest costume, hairdo and make-up.
Thousands of people wearing witch and wizard costumes take to the streets on the last day of the festival as part of the ‘Carnival of Lights’ Parade — a person dressed normally would be woefully out of place! The revellers gaily march to the beats of Samba music up to the banks of the River Foyle for the final spectacle, when a dazzling 20-minute display of fireworks sets the night sky ablaze with brilliant colours.
Derry has been designated the first ever UK City of Culture 2013.