If you’re someone who loves Halloween and all it entails, then you may be somewhat disappointed with the holiday in South Korea. Halloween as you know it in the United States isn’t celebrated in South Korea. However, Koreans are pretty good at adopting Western holidays that they deem to be ‘fun’ or something they can incorporate into their coffee shop culture.
Trick or Treating is limited to kindergartens and English hagwons where you can most likely enjoy some type of Halloween costume competition, but outside of English Hagwons don’t expect to see Koreans dressed in costume and decorating the outside of their homes. If you are having a costume party at school with the staff and students, either bring your costume to school and get dressed there or expect a lot of stares on the subway. Actually, you may want to prepare yourself for the occasional ahjumma (old lady) or ahjussi (old man) to shout something at you in Korean, and they certainly won’t sit next to you on the subway.
Just because Koreans don’t celebrate Halloween the way you’re used to doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had if you know where to look. If you want to dress up and go out partying, then Itaewon is your best bet. Itaewon is where the U.S soldiers were based (base has moved) and over the years it has become the multinational foreign hub of Seoul. There are foreign supermarkets, many bars and clubs, English bookstores as well as bars including gat bars, and restaurants serving every type of cuisine you could imagine. Itaewon is probably the one place in Seoul you’ll be more surrounded by foreigners than Koreans.
If you do find yourself in need of costume, then you have a couple of options. Joy Party is located at 320 Hakdongro, Gangnam Gu and opens until 8pm. Another option is Party N Deco in Seocho near Bangbae station. You’ll find lots of decorations and costumes. Personally, one of my favorite things to do at Halloween is attend the Seoul Players Rocky Horror Picture Show. Every year the Seoul Players produce a ‘shadowcast’ of the classic movie complete with costumes, dancing and audience interaction. It’s a great night out if you’re a fan of the movie, and if not, I’d still recommend it. Link below to their website.
Halloween is also an awesome time to attend Everland, the Korean Disney Land. It’s a theme park in Gyeonggi-do accessible by subway and bus. If you decide to take a taxi from Seoul, keep in mind that you may run into trouble getting one back to Seoul unless it’s a Seoul taxi. Taxi’s in Gyeonggi-do can take a fare to Seoul but legally can’t pick one up on the way back so the majority don’t bother because it’s not worth their time. Everland tickets cost approximately ₩56,000 per person and the park opens at 10am. At Halloween, there are special attractions and everywhere from the entrance is covered in pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, and fun gargoyles. It’s the perfect place for a fun day with the kids or a fun date. The ‘Haunted’ T Express, Horror Maze and Blood City are just a couple of examples of what awaits you in Everland at Halloween.
If you’re looking for more ideas on what to do this Halloween, check out the Trazy Blog below for a list of events.