ONE DAY of the year, you can dress up as anyone from your wildest dreams and beg for free candy on the streets. Getting dressed up with gory details of blood and knocking on strangers’ doors and threatening them for candy would send you to jail on any other normal day, but not this day! You guessed it: Halloween! Unfortunately, Halloween is not too big of a celebration in Korea, but the tides are changing as places like Hongdae, Itaewon, and Gangnam are hosting more and more extravagant Halloween parties for everyone to enjoy. Of course students of Yonsei University would not have escaped the heat of excitement and joined in the Halloween fun. Some of them shared their Halloween plans for this year as well as stories of how they enjoyed some of their past Halloweens.
Lee Jong-eun (Sr., UIC, Dept. of Creative Tech. Management, Techno-art Div.)
I used to live in the States for four years during elementary school and I would dress up in our traditional han-bok to go trick or treating in our neighborhood. It was one of the most memorable memories I had in America. I mean, it’s one of those rare experiences that does not come by often in Korea. I love Halloween for its ample opportunity to meet new people in excuse of free candy. So naturally I am most eager to celebrate this year’s as well, and plan to dress up as Sadness from the movie *Inside Out*. Her prominent colors are blue, so to recreate her look, I will wear a blue knitted sweater, temporarily dye my hair blue, and of course, carry around a sign that signifies that I am feeling “sad.” There are so many fun events at that time of the year, like Itaewon parties and zombie runs, and I would love to participate in every single one of them if I have time. The only time I celebrated Halloween in Korea was my freshman year at Yonsei International Campus, but this year I would hate to miss out on any of these fun events.
Lera Alexandrova (Fresh., Dept. of English Language & Lit.)
I am from Bulgaria, and back at home Halloween wouldn’t be considered as a national holiday, but there are a lot of Halloween parties. I would go to parties every year and just have fun with my friends. Honestly, who wouldn’t like free drinks and free candy! I had one of my most memorable Halloweens in one of my favorite costumes, a witch. I know that it is pretty cliché, but it was actually a costume my grandmother had made for me so I absolutely adored it. I remember this one year, when I was trick or treating with my friends around the neighborhood, there was this really old and scary lady. She got so mad at us that she started screaming and ran after us. I have never seen an old lady to scream so loud and run so fast. My friends and I had a big laugh and we still remember her tantrum whenever we think back to Halloween. For this year, I haven’t actually deeply considered which costume I am going to wear, but I am leaning strongly towards a princess costume. You know, with flowers, big dresses, and a crown. This year, I would love to have a private party with my friends and celebrate Halloween just like we did at home.
Choi Yae-eun (Fresh., UIC, Underwood Div.)
Halloween is a fun little deviation from your mundane realities and an opportunity for eccentric experiences! It gives you an excuse to be whoever else you want to be for one day, and dress up as your favorite TV or movie character and just downright spend a fun time with your friends. It’s definitely memorable. I lived in California for four years in high school so I am really used to the Halloween spirit. Back in California, I had dressed up as an Indian girl and a pumpkin witch, a costume my sister had made for me. This year, it is my first time celebrating Halloween in Korea so I really want to do something special. I am planning to go with the generic Devil costume. Its parts are easy to find and I would have to admit that it does correspond with my personality. Hongdae would be my number one pick for Halloween parties this year. I am just looking forward to a fun night!
Kim Deok-hun (Fresh., Dept. of Systems Biology)
Up until now, I haven’t really made a big deal of Halloween and just bypassed the day as I would any ordinary day, but the idea of it sounds like fun. I mean, you know how Korea doesn’t have much of a Halloween spirit; I would have pegged it for solely a western tradition until now. But I have so many ideas for costumes. I would love to recreate Edward’s Scissor hand’s look with his greasy, distraught hair and blades for fingers. Or maybe even, I could bring a Korean traditional element into this and dress up as the Korean grim reaper or a Korean goblin! For the grim reaper, I would need the typical Korean Grim reaper wardrobe: gat*, do-po**, and a list of names of people who would die that day. Oh, you know what would be a fun prank? If the names on the list were my friends! For the Korean goblin, a goblin bat would be most essential. Celebrating Halloween sounds fun and I would definitely join in if I had nothing else major going on that day.
Gat*: A Korean traditional hat made of bamboo and horsehair
Do-po**: A Korean traditional robe for the Korean gentry