No tricks, but treats aplentyWhile trick-or-treating isn’t exactly plausible in Seoul, Halloween has been adapted by young Koreans as another day to get out and party. And, of course, an excuse to wear outlandish costumes.
The idea of celebrating Halloween in Seoul originated in the Hongik University area, and in Apgujeong-dong, among people who’d had a great deal of exposure to American culture. Every year on All Hallows’ Eve, the terminally hip in the Hongdae area dress up in costumes and party the night away in the clubs.
Tonight is no exception. Club Joker Red is hosting a party with DJ Mea from Los Angeles, who will spin tech-house beats till dawn. At Hongdae, newcomer Cargo and deejays from London and Seoul will boost the Halloween spirit. Club Tool is also presenting electronic music by live performers.
Seoul’s hotel nightclubs and pubs are changing their strategy to attract young revelers tonight. Previously, hotels have offered costly Halloween packages that cost from 300,000 won ($250) to 500,000 won.
Seoul Hilton’s Areno nightclub is holding a best-costume competition. The club says it has prizes galore to hand out to the best-dressed goblins and ghouls. Free glow sticks will be given to the first 200 guests. The Plaza Pub at the Seoul Plaza hotel will make you up and provide you with accessories to spruce up your costume. The hotel says there will be some celebrities at the pub in costume; keep your eyes peeled and you can win a prize if you spot one. There is no admission fee for either of these events.
O’Kim’s, the Westin Chosun’s Irish pub, will offer such games as guessing the weight of a pumpkin and a mummy-making contest. Winners will receive free hotel packages, meals, bottles of whiskey and bottles of wine. The entrance fee of 10,000 won gets you one special Halloween cocktail, a free Polaroid snapshot and candy. Orange and black attire, please.
Di Moda, the Italian restaurant and lounge at the JW Marriott, adds a twist to the Halloween theme. From 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., guests can enter a pumpkin carving contest, a costume contest ― and a salsa-dancing competition. Talk about fusion. A live band will play salsa music all night. The cover charge is 20,000 won, but that includes a bottle of wine when you leave the party.
The Pointe, the nightclub at The Shilla Hotel, is celebrating the night with fortune-telling and a dance party starting at 8 p.m. For 30,000 won you can enjoy a Tarot card reading and two special Halloween cocktails. Also, professional dance teams will perform before the floor is opened up to partygoers. Don’t have a costume? No problem. The hotel will lend you one at no extra charge.
Theme parks offer more family-oriented fun. Everland is holding its “Halloween Fest” until Sunday. A parade starts near the main entrance at 11 a.m. daily, and visitors can have their pictures taken on sets decorated with jack o’lanterns and other Halloween decor. Seoul Land is screening horror movies twice a day ― at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ― through Sunday. And watch out for ghosts jumping out at the rides and restaurants. At Lotte World, 10 kinds of Halloween characters will be giving candy to children and telling fortunes on the streets of the theme park.
by Eugine Oh
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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