A Halloween Night in China


             Saturday night had streams of students entering our school’s indoor sports’ building.

            What was the big draw?  Nothing other than our annual Halloween Activity evening, sponsored by the English Association!
            Last year’s Halloween event was a big one and this year was just as exciting. 

            From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., we had the new English Association members busy at work painting faces.  Swirling flowers, butterflies and scary facial designs were the most popular and quite impressively done.

            At 8 p.m., I opened with information about Halloween’s history and traditions, although a majority who attended were my first year students.  We’d been doing Halloween in class for 2 weeks so they were well-prepared for what was ahead of us that night.

            As always, our jack-o-lantern carving contest was the biggest hit.  Being in Guangxi, where pumpkins are not easy to find due to the hot weather, we substituted watermelons instead.  It was a bit messy and watery but our 5 groups of three carvers didn’t seem to mind.  They spent over an hour getting their entries ready for the lighting ceremony and judging which took place as the last event.

            The costume-changing race, which had students walking ping-pong balls on spoons while wearing costumes, went well.  No bobbing for apples this year, which I thought was a shame but the leaders opted for another apple game:  passing the apple down a line of people by only using your neck to do so. We included the sound contest again as well:  cat, witch, ghost, wolf and scream. 

            We also had a few new additions to the program to lengthen things a bit. 

            The ballroom dance club came in to do their moves for us, which wowed everyone.  And on the opposite end of that came our masked hip-hop dancers.

            Plus we included our younger visitors this year.

           Last year, the campus children were running about, wanting so much to be a part of all the fun activities.  So this year, I suggested we have a time for the kids.

            This worked out perfectly!

            Our MCs, Hera and Steve, gathered the kids around.  They then explained the word “Trick-or-Treat!” to the children, had them practice numerous times (including a “thank you” at the end, and finally lined them up to trick-or-treat to the foreign teacher (me).

            First in line was Amy, who is a frequent visitor to my home for the kids’ Saturday afternoon in my home.  She did the children proud by shouting “Trick-or-Treat!” the loudest of anyone else.

            It was great to include the children this time around. After all, that’s what Halloween’s all about!  And I can guarantee we’ll be doing it again another year.

            The next English Association venture will be the Christmas Party.  Until then, enjoy the photo album of our Halloween Night at Guangxi Normal University for Nationalities.


            Tonight being Halloween, I have readied my apartment.   An inside display greets anyone visiting and my balcony is about to be lit with Halloween luminaries and my own jack-o-lantern.  Added to this will be leftover Christmas lights I didn’t bother taking down.  I always knew they’d come in handy again before Christmas.  Guess I was right!


            Have a Happy Halloween, everyone!  We all certainly are here.

            Ping An (Peace) from China


About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
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