So, you’d like to learn more about how Halloween is celebrated in Romania? After all, Romania is the home of Vlad the Impaler, the bloodthirsty leader who inspired the Count Dracula myth.
In this guide, we’d like to tell you more about Halloween in Romania, and we think you might be surprised by what we have to say. If anything we say here inspires you to visit Romania this Halloween, check out our guided trips in Romania and please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions whatsoever!
The scary truth about Halloween in Romania is that it’s not really officially celebrated and there isn’t a long tradition of dressing up like monsters, ghouls, and aliens on the 31st of October…
Many who hear this find it inexplicable that the country behind the most famous monster and perhaps the most popular costume doesn’t have a long-held Halloween tradition.
Don’t fear, however, as Halloween is becoming increasingly popular in Romania as we look to the United States and see how fun they have. If you’re interested in a monstrously good time in Romania at Halloween, we absolutely have you covered…
Before we go further into how Halloween is now celebrated in Romania, we’d like to cover where it all began, as it makes a little more sense why we haven’t traditionally celebrated it.
Halloween comes from an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. Samhain was celebrated by the Celts, a people who lived in what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and parts of France, over 2,000 years ago.
The Celts believed that on the night of October 31st, the boundary between the living and the spirit world was blurred, and the souls of the dead would return to Earth. To honor and appease these spirits, the Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes made of animal skins to disguise themselves. They hoped that by doing so, they could avoid being recognized by any malevolent spirits and prevent them from causing harm.
Despite its Celtic origins, no one celebrates Halloween like the United States. And, given its movie, TV, and music industry stretching across the world, Romanians have watched with interest as one of our great mythical figures (Dracula) and many of our other legends (strigoi, werewolves, ogres) are featured in films, decorations, and costumes on the other side of the planet.
(Side note: if you are one of the millions fascinated by the real history behind the legend of Dracula, you might like to read our Dracula guide to Romania.)
We watched all the Halloween pageantry and many of us thought: that looks like a lot of fun! Many expats from the Anglosphere living in Romania also encouraged costume parties around Halloween. So, gradually some Halloween traditions have begun to take hold in Romania, but to nowhere near the same extent as in the US.
Romania’s main way of adopting Halloween is by orchestrating epic costume parties. We are a country full of parties, celebrations, and pageantry, so it makes sense that this is the part of Halloween that excites us most of all.
There are some incredible costume parties around Halloween in many of Romania’s biggest cities, but especially in Bucharest (our capital) and in Brașov, as this is the city closest to Bran Castle — the real castle that inspired the legendary Castle Dracula.
Many people who visit Romania visit because they are fascinated by our creatures and legends, monsters and myths, and this is why so many guests choose to visit around Halloween. This is another reason why we created so many legendary costume parties… and that’s what we’d like to talk about for the rest of this guide.
Our 7-day Halloween in Transylvania Tour was created to offer guests the best possible time in Romania during the Halloween season.
We also offer a 3-day Halloween Tour in Transilvania.
We take guests to many of the most important sites related to the Dracula legend, and we finish the whole thing off with a costume party in Bran Castle. This is like spending Christmas in Lapland! Some places you can look forward to seeing on this epic Halloween tour:
This is the real-life Dracula’s Castle, whilst Bran Castle is usually given the credit. Poenari Castle is a 14th-century fortress that was constructed by Vlad the Impaler’s prisoners. Whilst the castle is mostly in a state of ruination, it is easy to imagine how intimidating it once was.
Corvin Castle is a beautiful medieval building that is still in remarkable condition. Also referred to as Hunyad Castle, it isn’t mentioned frequently in connection to Vlad or the Dracula myth. However, many historians believe that Vlad was imprisoned in the dungeons of Corvin Castle; some believe it was for a few months and others believe it was for seven years. Some historians speculate that this is where he went mad, becoming the brutal leader who inspired the legends.
Located in the interesting town of Sighisoara, the Vlad Dracul House is believed by many historians to be the original home where Vlad Tepes was born in 1431. This fascinating building is still standing, and most historians are in agreement that this was the legendary despot’s place of birth. Today, the building is a bar and restaurant, and guests can have a drink (of wine!) and a BITE to eat here.
Bran Castle looks incredible, so it gets most of the acclaim that is probably due to Poenari Castle. With respect to its historical relevance to the Vlad the Impaler legends, Bran Castle is less authentic than Poenari Castle, but it also earns this by being perhaps the most impressive castle in Romania.
We hope we’ve entertained and informed you about Halloween in Romania. Whilst Halloween didn’t start here, we’re making the most out of this exciting and macabre holiday. We also hope we’ve inspired you to visit Romania during Halloween. If we have and you have a few questions about the tours and activities mentioned in this guide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!