How is Halloween celebrated in Hong Kong?
Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' evening"), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in many countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the departed.
One theory holds that many Halloween traditions were influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which are believed to have pagan roots; some go further and suggest that Samhain may have been Christianized as All Hallow's Day, along with its eve, by the early Church. Other academics believe Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, being the vigil of All Hallow's Day. Celebrated in Ireland and Scotland for centuries, Irish and Scottish migrants brought many Halloween customs to North America in the 19th century, and then through American influence, Halloween spread to other countries by the late 20th and early 21st century.
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising and souling), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, as well as watching horror films. For some people, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although for others it is a secular celebration. Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.
Lan Kwai Fong
There is an area is defined by D'Aguilar Street and the smaller lane, Lan Kwai Fong, an L-shaped, cobble-stoned lane. Both streets turn 90 degrees to form a rectangle. It is near the Mid-Levels. Its eating and drinking establishments are considered upmarket in price and the area is also considered a tourist spot. From the west side of the rectangle, Wo On Lane and Wing Wah Lane extend to host several more spots for drinks and food. The area arguably extends to Wellington Street and Wyndham Street, through to the Hong Kong Fringe Club. It is also home to a small number of art galleries.
Before the Second World War, Lan Kwai Fong was dedicated to hawkers.
In early days, the square housed many mui yan, or marriage arrangers, a role exclusively held by females. Mui yan were marriage intermediaries between two families in traditional times. It was thus known as Mui Yan Hong or Hung Leung Hong.
Between 2011 and 2015, a massive change was underway, following Allan Zeman's decision to replace his block in Lan Kwai Fong. This led to a substantial area of Lan Kwai Fong becoming a construction site.
The crowds during special occasions such as Halloween or New Year's Eve put the place at a literal standstill with the large numbers. Police control is employed at such times, to manage the crowds.
In recent years, street performing has become a new scene in Hong Kong's street culture. Some of the performers decide to set their stages at Lan Kwai Fong, usually with the medium of singing and playing guitar in an acoustic setting.