Halloween, The Finale of October
Halloween, The Finale of October
  • Reporter Lee Suh-young
  • 승인 2011.11.02 22:38
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Autumn has arrived in POSTECH, and with it comes the ending days of October, with a bottle of beer, student rock band club Steeler’s performance, and Jack-o’-lantern. The Dormitory for Cultural Exchange (DICE) and Steeler together hosted a Friday Night Party (FNP) for Halloween at the Atlas Hall of the Student Union on Oct.28.

Halloween is celebrated in the United States and European countries on Oct 31. The history of Halloween has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain- a time used by the ancient Pagans to prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on the last day of October, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops. While some Christians and Pagans have strong feelings about its religious side, now, Halloween is celebrated with many games such as trick-or-treat, costumes, and the most famous symbol is Jack-o’-lantern.

Korean people have celebrated Halloween for years. A Halloween party is very popular among young Korean people. You will never find Korean elders celebrate Halloween or do some trick-or-treating, but many Korean parents who have their pre-teen kids or have western education background will help kids celebrate a Halloween party.

In Seoul, there are now lots festivals, parties, and events for celebrating the so-called spookiest day of the year. Some schools and English-language learning institutes hold Halloween parties for their students as part of their classes. Decorating with Halloween’s themes like Jack-o’-lanterns, they prepare a scary costume party.

Most Koreans are going to major theme parks such as Lotte World in Seoul, Everland in Yongin, and Seoul Land in Gyeonggi Province to celebrate Halloween. They hold some scary adventures for visitors, games, various musicals and concerts, and girl group performances.

The Koreans celebrate Chusok which is similar to Halloween festivities in that it is dedicated to their ancestors for the fruits of their labor. Chuseok is one of Korea’s three major holidays, along with Seollal (New Year’s Day), and celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month.  During the Chusok holiday, there is a mass exodus of Koreans returning to their hometowns to pay respect to their ancestors’ spirits.

During the years, Halloween parties among young people have been criticized in the Korean media for accepting indiscriminately foreign culture and pleasure-seeking club parties. As the Halloween market is growing bigger and bigger, now the criticism has shifted from a cultural thing to more of its cost-driven aspect such as expensive costumes. However, most young Korean people think Halloween is another fun event with special clothing.

Yun Seo-ra (CHEM, `10), a FNP participant, said that it is totally free at a Halloween party because nothing is restricted when choosing your costume, that makes sure it is much fun. Also, when it comes to expensive clothing, they hold more to the idea of preparing scary DIY costumes. “To be honest, there aren’t many special theme parties. I think it is not bad to hold a party as long as we don’t spend much money,” said Wie Min-su (ME, `11).

Indeed, Halloween in Korea is getting more and more developed and widely accepted. So, if you get stressed by the rigor of daily life, why not enjoy your Halloween in Korea. Shaking your body with music at clubs, screaming out in horror on hair-rising roller coasters or Halloween-dressed actors in amusement parks, and shopping for orange things like Jack-o’-lanterns, the Halloween in Korea is totally up to you.