Halloween in China

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China Festivities

In China the way of celebrating Halloween the western way has become much larger every year. This is mostly due to the influx of expats in large cities as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Most of the Chinese that celebrate Halloween are only celebrating it because they’re friends with expats or they really enjoy the nightlife in these cities aswell.  Kids in most international/expat schools celebrate it as well by going to school in costume and receiving candy. Getting a costume in China is rather easy because there are many places to have it tailor made to your preferences.

If you want to throw your own party, a lot of the bigger, western style department stores sell a lot of Halloween decorations! My roommates and I celebrated Halloween this way back in 2011!

Since Shanghai Disney resort has opened there have so far been only 1 celebration of Halloween in Disney town. Every weekend from the 14th until Halloween evening there will be performances of characters in Halloween style, a DJ and other musical acts.

You can find all the Halloween parties in these large cities in expat focused magazines and websites. Like Smart Shanghai and Internations.

the Hungry Ghost Festival
In China, and most other asian countries, they do celebrate a sort of equivalent of Halloween. this is celebrated on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month. in Taoist name “Zhongyuan Festival” and called “Yulanpen festival” by buddist. This festival is like night of the dead in the west.
The entire 7th lunar month is the time the ghosts are most active and wander the eath in search of affection.  Families will celebrate this month with their ancestors by burning incense and having elaborate meals where there’s also place at the table for the deceased spirits.

The hungry spirits are usually refered to them as Hungry because these are restless spirits. Spirits who did not have a proper burial because they were abroad or shown no concern for their welfare in the beyond. They miss out on food and spirit money, things the family offer on the graves of their ancestors or passed family members.

During this festival the Chinese citizins leave out food, incense and gifts for the wandering spirits. Gifts usually made out of paper to remind them of items they used to have when they were alive.

There are also lantern burning days, where the lights are set out on the water to lead the spirits back to heaven.


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