Halloween is essentially a Western holiday and has a long history, originally celebrated by the Celts to commemorate the dead. Halloween as we know it in the United States is a holiday for fun and parties, getting dressed up in costumes, trick-or-treating and decorating pumpkins.
Halloween in China
Unlike Christmas where the non-religious traditions have crossed the Pacific, Halloween is really a non-event for the Chinese. You might see pumpkins or squash decorating shop-fronts and grocery stores selling Western products might stock some candy but you won’t find hoards of Chinese children knocking on doors for treats.
How to Celebrate Halloween in China – Adults
Halloween is a great gimmick and lots of bars, pubs and restaurants will use Halloween as a theme night. If you’re visiting China during Halloween, you’ll probably only find these parties in larger cities that have more expats living in them such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. You can check local expat magazines for parties and hit the bar scene for a spooky night out if you’re in the mood.
How to Celebrate Halloween in China – Kids
Unfortunately, only the international schools will likely be doing anything Halloween-related so if you’re just visiting China with your kids during Halloween there will not be public parties or trick-or-treating for them. Find a fun kids’ activity for them that day to help them forget about Halloween and the candy they’re missing!