Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hong Kong Halloween

When we first moved here, we wondered if the kids would get to celebrate Halloween, as it is primarily a US inspired holiday. We need not have worried. Halloween was celebrated in Hong Kong this year with enthusiasm, excitement and endurance. After about a week of solid Halloween, we can all say it was fun, even though our costumes ordered from the states in September never arrived.

The costume snafu was not a major one as Stanley (our nearest neighborhood) has tons of costumes for sale every day of the year. We easily picked up Adam’s Batman costume. Royce’s Firebird (Russian ballet that we saw this year) was easily assembled out of red devil costumes and red fairy wings. In keeping with Tori’s Ancient Egypt phase, her Cleopatra costume was pretty much put together from things she already wears on a regular basis. We are pleased to note that Egyptian style beaded headdresses are for sale in Stanley and already procured for Tori’s upcoming Ancient Egypt birthday party.

While Halloween has only been celebrated in Hong Kong for the past 5- 10 years (this according to my more recent taxi drivers), we all had plenty of venues for Halloween fun. Our apartment building had a couple parties. The American Club (our gym/restaurant across the street) had parties. The US Consulate hosted a big party with crafts and trick or treating. And Tori’s school had Book-o-ween where students came as characters from books. Not everyone understands the holiday, and I can’t say I do anymore either, but most blame the Americans for the extra shot of candy and sugar.

Trick- or –treating in the heat and in high rises added a little extra trick to the whole event. The practice here is to put up a common sign on your apartment door if you are participating in Halloween. Kids then travel up and down two elevators to the apartment floors. Each apartment floor has only two flats per floor, so lots and lots of elevator congestion. Our kids were forced to take the stairs a couple of times, only to find that the stairs don’t always stop at every floor- and of course not every floor has participating trick or treat families. Exhausted but with candy, Tori declared that when she is a teen-ager, she will live in and trick or treat only in houses!


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