Posts Tagged With: Hallowe’en

Eerie Hallowe’en Like: Weekly Photo Challenges

I have posted this photo before, but it was the first idea that popped into my head when I saw the photo themes this week.

The Peace Tower at Night

The Peace Tower at Night

This photo was taken in Ottawa, Ontario of our nation’s Parliament Buildings. I find it eerie in sepia and due to the angle. Normally the building is shot with blue skies and as a wide shoot taking it all in.

Parliment Buildings

Parliament Buildings

Although come to think of it this sky looks a little eerie. Shortly after this was taken a heavy rain and thunderstorm passed through.

This is my response to 2 different photo challenges this week. WDBP wanted something Hallowe’en inspired; something that gave you the chills and looked a little spooky. Maybe this would remind you of Hallowe’en? The other is WordPress and the theme was eerie. Be sure to check them out to get all the detail and learn more about what they are looking for.

Stay Tuned…

Categories: Photography, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Hallowe’en Tale

I don’t have any photos to show you, but this story was something I just had to share…

In a previous post I spoke about Hallowe’en here in Shanghai.  I explained how over the last 3 years we have seen Hallowe’en go from a few decorations in a shop to a more wide-spread celebration not only by the expats who live here, but the locals too. Well they still don’t quite ‘get it’, but as with all things new we must work out the details and improve things over time.

On the weekend leading up to Hallowe’en there are many parties surrounding the holiday and some compounds, where the locals live, there will be the traditional trick or treating. Then on the actual day you will also see a few more, since they follow the tradition of the west. Saturday we were out at the mall and many local children were buying capes and hats then running around in dress up mode. Some children were also getting simple face painting designs. No candy, just playing dress up. Some of my students told me about parties and picnics they went to over the weekend. There they had treats and played games.

Now this wouldn’t be me with a funny twist on things… nor would this be my version of China if something else didn’t happen. As I said they don’t quite ‘get it’ just yet. Wednesday night – October 30th – we went to the local plaza by us where there are shops, restaurants, banks and a large grocery store. After some errands it was getting late so we decided to grab dinner at our favourite place. As we were sitting and eating 2 little local children about 3 or 4 years old came inside and their mom’s waited at the door. Their costumes consisted of their regular clothes and the boy had an orange witch hat on and the girl, pink bunny ears that kept falling forward. They each had a little bag,with, I am guessing, treats inside. With their parent’s encouragement they went up to the counter and were asking for treats. I am not sure what ‘trick or treat’ is in Chinese, but with my limited understanding they were asking for treats. At first it went unnoticed, but they didn’t give up. Finally someone saw them and said something to the manager. A conversation ensued. We were giggling since it wasn’t Hallowe’en and even if this shop would participate it wasn’t until the next day. The cashier continued to speak to her manager. In my mind this is what they were saying…

Cashier: These kids want treats.

Manager: We don’t have any treats.

Cashier: What do I tell them?

Manager: We don’t have anything.

Cashier: Can we give them something?

Manager: We don’t have anything… oh wait what about this?

Cashier and Manager look around behind the counter and find something and the cashier gives it to the children. The children say thank you and head back to their beaming parents.

We are in a fit of giggles because in each of their little hands they hold… a packet of sugar!     🙂

Well I guess in the spirit of Hallowe’en you give none other than sweets. Could have been worse, like a packet of mustard or ketchup.

Do you have any cute or funny Hallowe’en stories to share?

Stay tuned….

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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: , , , , , , , ,

Travel Theme: Spooky

Hallowe’en is such a fun time of year and the planning of costumes, getting yummy treats and candies for free, being anything you want, if only for a night, brings joy to children and adults alike. Back home we would often go to a Hallowe’en party, even as adults. Working with kids and seeing their very cool costumes and imaginations come to life was just as exciting for me as it was for them. Even China is starting to get in on this fun holiday and the local shops have decorations and costumes for sale. Some compounds, where many expats live, host parties and trick or treating for the kids. Even the local Kerry Parkside Complex got in on the action holding adult dress up parties and events for the kids. A large haunted castle even sprung up a few weeks back. Did I mention I love Hallowe’en?

Haunted Castle at Kerry Parkside, Shanghai

The school where I work does not celebrate Hallowe’en so there will be no parties or dressing up. 😦 I miss it.

Ailsa over at Where’s My Backpack has lifted my Hallowe’en spirits with her weekly challenge… SPOOKY.

I haven’t had the opportunity to take many photos of spooky things and to be honest I do NOT like scary movies or scary things, just the dressing up bit. I sifted the archives and I came up with a few pics. One is more gross than spooky, but I would not like to find this in my house. It is a giant slug like thing that we saw in Cuba this summer. It was crossing the path near the garden and pool. It was bigger than any slug I’ve seen before. Remembering this thing I would say it was as long as my middle finger and almost as wide as 2 fingers. YUCKY!

Scary Looking Slug


The next is a lightening shot. I loved watching lightening storms when we lived in Welland. Our apartment was near the old canal and the living room had floor to ceiling windows on 2 sides… great view for storm watching. Lightening isn’t spooky for everyone, but it always makes an appearance in scary movies… a typical symbol of spooky.

Lightening Storm Flash

Check out Ailsa’s page for more examples or to post your own.

Stay tuned… another photo challenge to come.

Categories: Photography, post a week, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,