Hal­loween in Bei­jing

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - TWO CENTS - By Ed­ward Knight

As the end of the year ap­proaches, we’re faced with that fa­mil­iar specter of Hal­loween! For some of us, it’s the best time of year. Many for­eign­ers in China en­joy dress­ing up in cos­tumes and go­ing out par­ty­ing with their friends. From ev­ery­thing to house par­ties to club­bing, the com­i­cal sight of an ex­pat wear­ing an an­i­mal one­sie to a club has be­come all-too-com­mon in Bei­jing.

The hol­i­day sea­son is usu­ally lonely for for­eign­ers in China, as we’re far from our fam­ily and friends with whom we once cel­e­brated the hol­i­days.

How­ever, Hal­loween can be the per­fect ex­cuse to go out, meet new peo­ple and have a good time.

I’ve known peo­ple here who throw potluck par­ties (a potluck is when guests bring their own food or drinks) for Hal­loween, which al­ways in­clude cos­tumes and games. Some guests buy pack­aged cos­tumes on Taobao, oth­ers like my­self just fru­gally go to the Silk Mar­ket to buy some ran­dom pieces of cloth­ing for a cheaper sort of cos­tume.

When I was study­ing at Pek­ing Univer­sity, my class­mates and I went out all to­gether and bought a set of match­ing an­i­mal one­sies.

Ac­tu­ally, back in my home coun­try, I of­ten hes­i­tated to go out in pub­lic in a silly Hal­loween cos­tume, but here in China, I feel free to wear what­ever I want out on the streets and at lo­cal bars.

You can of­ten spot the laowai by their at­tire.

That’s not to say Chi­nese peo­ple don’t also dress up for Hal­loween.

It is be­com­ing more and more com­mon to see lo­cals join­ing in on the spooky fun.

Hal­loween is now an in­ter­na­tional hol­i­day that Asian coun­tries like China seem to com­pre­hend and ac­cept eas­ier than re­li­gious hol­i­days such as Christ­mas. In some ways, that’s what makes Hal­loween even more fun in Bei­jing than back home.

Be­ing a for­eign im­mi­grant can be hard, but an ex­cuse to have care­free, silly fun with your friends makes Hal­loween one of the best ways to shake off your lone­li­ness, go out and ex­pe­ri­ence the city.

So, if you ever find your­self in Bei­jing on a spooky Hal­loween night, come on down to San­l­i­tun, Wu­daokou or Gu­lou, where many for­eign­ers go out for fun and you might just make new friends with a zom­bie or a witch.

See you out tonight!

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