While many people in Taiwan are familiar with the American holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is one holiday that is often overlooked: Halloween. On October 31st, Americans dress in costumes and covertheir houses with Jack-O-Lanterns (pumpkins with faces) and spooky decorations. This is a time for laughing at things that usually scare us, such as ghosts, monsters, goblins, and skeletons.
On the evening of October 31st, everyone, mainly children, puts on costumes, lights Jack-O-Lanterns, and prepares for an evening of Trick-or-Treating. Kids especially love this holiday because it gives them the chance to dress as their favorite monsters, super heroes, sports players, and characters from movies.
A lot of work can go into planning for Halloween. First, you have to decide what you want to be for Halloween. You can be absolutely anything. There are stores that sell Halloween costumes, or you can make one yourself. If you make your own costume, it doesn't have to be too much work. Creating a Halloween costume is supposed to be fun, and it's a great opportunity to go shopping with friends at both Halloween stores and thrift stores.
In weeks prior to Halloween, people get together to carve faces and other designs on pumpkins. But first, you have to choose a pumpkin. In America, there are a lot of pumpkin farms and in the fall, people can go to these farms and pick their own pumpkin. Some of them are very small, but some of them can be as heavy as nine kilograms. After you buy your pumpkin, it's time to take it home and carve it. Some places have pumpkin carving contests, where awards are given to people with the best pumpkin-carving skills.
After buying or making a costume, Halloween night finally arrives! Kids of all ages walk around their neighborhood getting candy. Dressed in their costumes, they knock on their neighbors' doors and say "trick-or-treat!" and then receive a piece of candy. Although some people consider Halloween to be for kids, adults can also enjoy dressing up in scary, funny, or cute costumes.
Many adults have Halloween parties. At these parties, hot apple cider, hot cocoa, apples dipped in caramel, popcorn and other treats are served. Some people gather around a campfire and tell scary ghost stories. People also enjoy watching scary movies that have ghosts, zombies, monsters, witches, and skeletons in them. Two not-so-scary favorite Halloween movies are "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown."
Although Taiwan doesn't celebrate Halloween as much as we do in the West, Halloween is still here, even in Kinmen. Every 7-Eleven store has Halloween decorations; cats, bats, owls, witches, and spider webs. Witches greet customers as they enter the store. And for anyone who really wants Halloween decorations and costumes, there are streets in Taipei that have stores full of all the Halloween essentials.