Hallowe’en In Shanghai -Pixelventures

Pixelventures theme for the week is Hallowe’en and they asked for something less commercial, but I couldn’t resist showing you what Hallowe’en looks like in Shanghai.

DSC05168Our first year here in 2010 I was disappointed to learn, even though I was working at an international school, we couldn’t celebrate Hallowe’en due to some people against the ideas and beliefs surrounding the day. Many of my students who were American still went trick or treating within their compounds or had parties the weekend closest to Hallowe’en. To my surprise the local Carrafour shop had a few items for Hallowe’en like decorations and hats or wands. The next year there was more items and the third year, last year, we saw displays at some local restaurants, and the large western style Mall at the Kerry Parkside even had a haunted house display. Pizza Hut even had their employees wearing silly Hallowe’en inspired headbands. That year when I returned from work some local children had dressed up and gathered in the lobby of our building. I am not sure if they were trick or treating, but they were in costume.DSC05165

As Georgia stated in her post, slowly the American tradition and commercialism has spread to where she lives in Italy and the costumes and dressing up collecting treats is more and more wide spread. It has even reached us here half-way ’round the world in China. Slowly as I said the idea and tradition seems to spread. I am not sure if it is the expats bringing the idea to local neighbourhoods where some richer local people live, or the locals finding out more about this custom. Maybe it is just curiosity from the costumes and decorations that we use, after all they all are made here!


Last night we were at the Kerry Parkside Hotel/Mall for dinner and local Chinese children were in capes, wearing witch hats and face paint. Two large jack ‘o’ lantern displays were actual stalls where they were selling these costumes and doing the face painting. It all was a  little tacky and lack of true understanding of our traditions and commercialism turned into a fun night at the mall.


DSC05167I snapped a few photos of Carrafour today with their meager display, few tacky cheap costumes and aisles of Hallowe’en decorations. A TV has been set up playing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” over and over again to grab the attention of a whole new generation and culture. Is this what they think Hallowe’en is? I am curious to know if Hallowe’en has spread to other major cities in China and what it looks like.


Stay tuned…




Categories: teaching overseas, Tourist in My Own Town, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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18 thoughts on “Hallowe’en In Shanghai -Pixelventures

  1. Freda Goulet

    The world has shrunk to a global community with worldwide media coverage, faster and faster means of travel, so it is understandable that traditions are spreading to all corners of the globe. Schools here still have a Hallowe’en parade of costumes, but there are guidelines as to what the costumes may or may not be. Some communities now have a community party with treats for the children rather than door-to-door trick or treating. This is considered much safer for the children in today’s world!!

    • I forget how unsafe some places can be since here in Shanghai it is safe to walk the streets at night.
      True the world seems to be shrinking and cultures are starting to all meld and become one. There is something to be said about traditions though… how boring if we all become one.

  2. I don’t think that, in Canada, Halloween has become more commercial since I was a kid. Store costumes have always been…cheep and plastic. I am noticing more and more that people are making their own costumes. I think shying away from door-to-door takes away from a sense of community. The lack of safety is on the parents. They (like my parents did) have to go out with the kids and check the candy. 35ish years ago my candy had to be checked…and it wasn’t front page news ’bout lack of safety for kids…it was common sense and good parenting.

    • Yes true… there is always a wacko out there 😉
      Thanks for sharing and reminding us how the parents need to be still deligent. I find Hallowe’en more wide spread now with a variety of things and lawn decoartions that weren’t available when we were young… guess that is why I see it more commercial.

  3. An interesting Post. The globalization is ceating some really strange monsters throughout the world. Again, I agree, it’s more about selling-selling-selling…a shame really when you think about it. I agree with LavendarLadi…years back we went tric or treating and parent took the responsability of going out with the kids and checking that the candy was safe. There is a lot of hype and pumping fear in today’s society, mayebe we should be asking why.

    • yes very true… as I said to Lavendar… we need to remind parents it is their responsibility to keep their kids safe.

      • Yes, we’re deligating too much now days, like someone else is always responsable for our lives…not good.

        • Yup… as a teacher I always see it… we should be teaching them curriculum, manners, respect etc. and the parents don’t do anything and then wonder why their child is so naughty and having trouble. It seems some parents today rather place blame then do it themselves. It always works best when we all work together. What is that quote about it takes a village to raise a child???

  4. They do seem to be more safety conscious in Canada now, though, encouraging makeup over masks and having indoor Halloween collecting at malls and parties for the kids.
    I’ve nominated you as Versatile Blogger. You don’t have to play it forward if you don’t want.

    • Awesome thanks so much 🙂 I am honoured. I will get to it later in the week or on the weekend… already Monday morning and rushing off to work now 😉
      Thanks again for the visit and the nomination.

  5. Last year, a blogger posted photos of Halloween in India 🙂 Indeed, the globe is shrinking.

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