Thu, October 28, 2010
Lifestyle > Culture > Happy Halloween 2010

For those of us who like a frightening night in town

2010-10-28 03:15:27 GMT2010-10-28 11:15:27 (Beijing Time)  China Daily

(Source: China Daily)

BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world.

This quote from Hamlet is apt to some around this time of year.

It's Oct 31 on Sunday and, while to some that means nothing, to many now is the time to prepare for some Halloween excitement.

Halloween can be a big thing at home, as well as many other British-influenced corners of the globe. Having its roots in Celtic religious festivities, but today a secular celebration, All Hallows' Eve typically involves a variety of activities for children and adults alike.

The younger members of society will often wear costumes to go out trick-or-treating around the local neighborhood - that is knocking on neighbors' doors, where most will supply sweets to the children after some fooling around.

Other practices include carving ghoulish faces into pumpkins, lit by candles in the hollowed center, apple bobbing, ghost tours, scary stories and other related amusement for parents and kids alike.

Due to increasing numbers of us native English speakers residing in the capital and the heavy consumption of Western, particularly American, television programs and films, Halloween is a fairly well-known tradition among Chinese youth. But what is available here for the young and the still young at heart?

Certainly trick-or-treating isn't an option in Beijing. With the majority of residents seemingly not knowing their neighbors and it not being a traditional Chinese celebration, it's unlikely to become a regular event here in the near future.

That said, like the majority of celebrations from the Western world, Halloween is certainly catching on big-style in one aspect: the party scene. Long has it been the case that any excuse for a party was a good one among Beijing's nightlife and Halloween is no exception.

Indeed, there is one key tradition of the night that even some adults (especially the younger ones) still enjoy- dressing up.

Love it or hate it, for many, dressing up in the most outrageous attire and heading out on the town is the most important aspect of the evening.

There are a multitude of themed nights that will be taking advantage of people's ability to act in this manner and no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of Beijingers will be out and about dressed from the amusingly horrific to the downright outrageous across the city.

Many of these nights begin from Friday, but a great number of locations will be available on the 31st - from Sanlitun to Wudaokou. Partygoers will be able to strut their costumed stuff from bars to restaurants and even many of the major hotels in the city, which will be holding Halloween-themed events.

Even the fact that the big night is a Sunday will not deter partygoers from petrifying pints and ghoulish games.

Personally, being a killjoy on costumed evenings has not always come naturally, but, this year, a pumpkin in the apartment window will have to suffice.

For others, it can be sure that: "Witch and ghost make merry on this last of dear October's days."

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