Of course Halloween isn’t a traditional Korean festival, but it’s not hard to see why it’s fast becoming popular with both kids and 20s-somethings in Seoul. Did someone say free sweets? And zombie cosplay?
During the daytime, you might spot kids wearing costumes as they attend events at their local hagwon (English school). Buying Halloween costumes for the kids of all sizes is getting easier thanks to the internet, and stores like Joy’s Party, in Gangnam-gu Office.
Halloween-themed food is also now creeping into supermarkets and bakeries. Monster Cupcakes in Itaewon serves up creepy-themed treats all year round, so the Halloween goodies should be even tastier.
Korea’s theme parks are also keen to cash in on the spooky season. Lotte World has held a kid-friendly parade and event for some years, but this year is launching a zombie-themed event space in Magic Island. Check out the site here and more English information here. Rival park Everland has a solid reputation for its Halloween Horror nights, including two horror mazes and a horror safari.
At night, there are plenty of Halloween theme bar events, especially Cargo and M2 in Hongdae, Limelight in Itaewon and Spin in Apujeong. Prices vary by location but discounts are often available for those who show up in costume. Busan also has its fair share of Halloween club events.
There are a few zombie/creepy-themed bars that operate all year round in Seoul, but you can bet Halloween will be a peak time for customers. There’s also some free public-organised events hosted via Facebook, like the Seoul Zombie Walk which many Korean bloggers seem to have staggered into.
Last but by no means least, Kpop idols are often seen getting in on the halloween fun too, like at SM Entertainment’s annual halloween party. Where else can we see Key dressed as Ronald McDonald? Looking forward to seeing what he rustles up this year.