October 31 is a big day in the states but now is a major global holiday as well. Halloween is a day for kids, adults, and anyone with an imagination. It’s where people dress up as their favorite superhero, celebrity crush, best friend, or movie character. I do not know the history of Halloween, but it is celebrated a bit differently in different parts of the world. I have celebrated Halloween on three different continents and several different places on those continents. I am going to Guyde you on what Halloween is like on each continent.
There is a lot I can write about celebrating Halloween in the states. From mischief night to trick or treating to Halloween in college. This holiday does not discriminate on peoples ages, races, or genders. There is something for everyone on Halloween.
Trick or treating is one of the best nights growing up as a kid in the USA. On Halloween night, kids aged 4-13 set out on foot around their neighborhoods with bags or pillowcases and fill them up with candy. It is a community event where people give out candy to kids on Halloween night and comment on their costumes. As you get older, you develop more of a strategy to maximize your Trick or Treating time. The more candy you get, the more you can trade at school for the next few days.
Celebrating Halloween in college is usually one of the best nights of the year. You get a chance to go out dressed in ridiculous costumes with your closest friends, sometimes dressing up in themes. This is the time where people dress in the most ridiculous costumes. Post college Halloween celebrations have a mixed bag of people really getting into the spirit and people who do the bare minimum for a costume. I love celebrating Halloween.
My first trip to Amsterdam (yes I am a repeat visitor) was over Halloween weekend, which I thought was going to be an experience. It was my first true European Halloween weekend and I didn’t really know what to expect since Halloween was a big American holiday. I was going to dress up as Frankenstein, I thought that was a pretty neutral costume. I was there for just a weekend, short easy flight from London so I arrived on a Friday night and was going to come back that Sunday.
There is no doubt that people celebrate Halloween differently in Europe, the costumes are more focused on blood and gore. Instead of a girl dressing up as a nurse or a cop, they would dress up as a slasher victim or a gory ghost. It is very different how people dress up in Europe, but still a great experience to see. I would most certainly celebrate Halloween in Europe again.
As you can imagine, celebrating Halloween in Asia is not a big thing. There are pockets of expat communities that celebrate it, but it is nothing to the scales of the USA and Europe. It is an American holiday, which is a very different culture than China. You can, however, celebrate it and have a good time meeting new friends. I have celebrated Halloween in both Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Hong Kong has a bigger expat community and a more vibrant nightlife scene. I would say that celebrating Halloween in a city like Hong Kong is a wonderful thing to do. I look forward to celebrating again this year!
Wherever you are celebrating Halloween this year, remember to Guy Around responsibly and enjoy your time. Send me any pictures and be on the lookout for my costume this year!