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A Hong Kong Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays; I love the fall weather, the costumes, the movies, the haunted houses, and the overall spooky atmosphere.  I didn’t know if or how Halloween was celebrated in Hong Kong, as it is certainly more of a big deal in the US—we even dedicate a whole “Halloweekend” to it.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, because Hong Kong is like a blend of Eastern and Western cultures, there were plenty of festive activities to partake in.

On Saturday, my friends and I took a trip to Pottinger Street in Central, which was lined with stalls overflowing with Halloween attire.  The narrow and steep street was filled with people searching for the perfect costume.  Not only did these stalls sell packaged costumes similar to Spirit of Halloween, there were also huge bins filled with accessories that included headbands, wings, jewelry, and props.  Although I didn’t have many resources to create a costume, I bought a few basic accessories that I could work with.  Later that night, we headed to Lan Kwai Fong (LKF), the best area for nightlife.  I was shocked at the number of people on the streets; although it is commonly busy, Halloweekend brought huge crowds and a new vibrant energy to LKF.  Everyone was wearing fun costumes, and photographers lined the streets to take pictures of various groups.  There were even kids there!  There was also a lot of crowd control present, which we definitely understood and appreciated following the tragic events in South Korea.  Because the entire region of Hong Kong is basically built into the mountains, the streets of LKF are incredibly steep, which adds another element of danger; it was good to know that police were cognizant and dedicated to our safety.

On Sunday, we woke up early and journeyed to Ocean Park, Hong Kong’s largest and most iconic theme park.  The subway ride there was only 30 minutes, so it was a lot more accessible than I expected.  The whole park is built on top of a mountain, and one of the bigger roller coasters is located right on the edge!  The adrenaline rush I normally experience riding a roller coaster was definitely tripled when we were upside down and facing a huge drop down.  At one point throughout the day, we took a cable car up and over one of the mountains, which offered a beautiful view of the Hong Kong landscape.  In between rides, we got to see penguins, pandas, seals, and more, as Ocean Park is also an oceanarium and animal park.  There were many Halloween decorations and attractions in addition to the normal ones that were especially spooky after sunset, and once it got dark, we bought tickets to one of the walk-through haunted houses.  Even though it was 80 degrees all day, we were definitely all in the Halloween spirit.

I wasn’t expecting to have a Halloween to similar to one in the US, but due to the decorations put up by restaurants and stores, haunted amusement park rides, costume shopping, and fun with friends, it was definitely as celebratory as I had hoped.  It’s amazing to learn about more and more amazing facets of Hong Kong culture every day.

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