Happy Halloween! Well, for those of you in America anyway. Although I don’t do a lot when I am home, I am a little sad that I won’t get to do anything for Halloween this year. Not only do I have a night class, but here in China, they don’t actually celebrate Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, the American places around here decorate and have parties but the Chinese people themselves don’t really do much. Their ‘Halloween’ is actually during June and July but it is only celebrated in some parts of the country. According to my teachers, the younger generation is starting to pick up on the American Halloween tradition but more in the sense of dressing up. No one goes trick-or-treating. My Chinese teacher actually told us that if we tried to go trick-or-treating the Chinese people were likely to call the cops on us. Thus, my Halloween night is filled with eating chocolate, reading scary stories and listening to The Monster Mash over and over and over… Boring huh? I guess that is the consequence of growing up.
As for what I have been up to: Last weekend, I went shopping with a friend from high school. Small world huh? A friend from high school, that I haven’t seen sense graduation, just happens to be in China at the same time as me! It was great to see her and spend time with her. It gave me a much needed taste of home.
We ended up going shopping at a place out near Tiananmen Square called the Pearl Market. They ended up having amazing deals and thus, I was able to buy a ton of Christmas gifts. I plan on doing a lot of my Christmas shopping here in China as everything is less expensive but I can still find quality stuff. Plus, I figure, I will only have about a week to get all of my shopping done once I get home. If I can get stuff in China, it will make my life so much easier. Besides, who wouldn’t want a little 中国特色 (Chinese style items) in their lives? I think it will make for interesting gifts.
Going back to the subject at hand, Halloween, I thought I would share with you some Chinese superstitions that I have learned while being here. I know it isn’t exactly Halloween style, more Friday the 13th but it will have to suffice as a little treat from China. Here it goes:
- The number four is China is bad luck because if you say it in the wrong tone (third tone) it means death.
- My conversation partner told me that although turtles are okay to eat, they should never be kept as pets as they will bring bad business luck.
- One should never praise a newborn baby because it will invite evil spirits and ghosts.
- Clipping toenails or fingernails at night is bad luck. If you do, you will be visited by a ghost (according to our maid).
- Never give a clock as a gift. It is considered bad luck.
I hope everyone has a good Halloween! Eat some candy corn for me!