Friday, November 9, 2012

Halloween Shanghai Style!

So, last week Wednesday was Halloween and all I have to say is that I was quite surprised! I never expected so much excitement, fanfare, and costumes in Shanghai and to be honest, I was a little upset since Halloween is my favorite holiday and I felt very under dressed for the occasion, but before I get to that, I will explain a bit about how my Halloween Holiday went in Shanghai....

Earlier in the month of October, I returned from "my weekend" ( meaning my off days of Wednesday and Thursday) to find my school decked out in Halloween decorations.  There were mock spiderwebs and spiders in various parts of the school and classrooms. There were jack-o-lantern's on several desks as well as, various black and orange banners that spanned the hallways and classrooms.

"Spooky Decorations"

"Walking in the Spiderwebs (No Doubt throwback)!"

 Once I arrived to the teacher's office, I noticed a sign advertising the annual Halloween party to be held the Sunday before Halloween complete with a "Scream" type mask next to it.  I finally arrived at my desk and one of the senior teachers told me I was nominated to help out with the Halloween party and there would be a meeting about it later that day.  I was quite honored and excited since I only started teaching at my school less than two months ago and they already wanted me to take on big tasks at the school (I also love Halloween)!

During the meeting, I gave my input on various games and activities and during the weeks leading up to the party, I threw myself headfirst into all the planning and preparation By the time the 28th arrived, I was ready to party except for one important thing, I had no costume!

Halloween Party Advertisement
Before leaving the states, I had contemplated bringing my Halloween costume (which I shall not reveal since I will definitely be bringing it out next year), but decided not to due to size and weight restrictions (I had much more things of importance to bring such as everyday clothes and beauty products without lighteners!). Besides, I didn't think I would need it and I was not expecting Halloween to be celebrated here besides at an expat bar or two. Thus, I confidently left my costume behind not expecting it to see the light of day this year.  But as luck would have it, several weeks before Halloween, I saw advertisement, after advertisement about big Halloween parties and celebrations when I was out and about at both expat and local establishments. I also learned about several costume shops in Shanghai that sold full-out costumes and accessories for the big night. By that time, I was scrambling for ideas and my off hours were devoted to researching the perfect costume, but by time the party arrived, I was still clueless about a costume and I decided to reluctantly be a cat (since I already owned a leopard print shirt and I found a headband with leopard print ears at the store for $2 USD). It was not my best costume, but it wold have to do...

Party Time!

Party Goers decked out in Costume!
The day of the Halloween party was quite hectic at the school. I had stayed late making sure my game stations were complete. I had assigned myself in charge of Bobbing for Apples (which was hilarious since I always despised that game-I'm quite germophobic) and Halloween Bingo which would be a game and English vocabulary lesson all in one. During the day, one of my co-workers who was in charge of party planning gave me some items to set up and he told me about an extra costume they had on hand. It turns out my school had ordered several extra sets of devil horns and witch/sorcerer hats and capes so I decided to change my costume to one of the witch/sorcerer costumes.  I felt loads better and decided to change a bit early.

One student's unsuccessful attempt at bobbing for apples
Once I reveled myself to the students, chaos ensued and suddenly everyone wanted a picture of me in my Halloween gear.  Finally it was party time and I learned tickets had been sold out! As I got to my station, I passed by many students decked out like I couldn't believe in all kinds of costumes and I had to laugh and applaud at the same time. I can't lie, I never expected the Chinese to get into Halloween but I'm glad they did. When the students arrived at my station and learned they had to bob for apples, I got several "deer in the headlights" look as well as, bales of laughter.  Finally a student decided to go for it and once he successfully bobbed for an apple, there were cheers and applause and pictures galore. Soon the apprehensive faces turned into impatient and excited faces since everyone now wanted the chance to bob for apples. I had so much fun my sides hurt and the students enjoyed themselves so much some wanted a second turn.  The Halloween bingo game was equally as fun since the students got to learn many Halloween traditions and vocabulary words.  All in all, the students had loads of fun and the school was quite pleased since it brought in loads of new business.

A masquerade, a pumpkin and a witch!

People lined up bright and early for entry!

My co-workers and I "casting spells!"

Halloween Night....
All Hallow's eve finally rolled around Wednesday the 31st and for me it was an action packed day complete with a lunch invite (which I will blog about in the future), a potluck dinner invite (which was fun and delicious) and finally a night out! I ended up using my cat costume idea the night of Halloween and I partied the night away with new found friends at a couple of expat places until the wee hours of the morning (5a.m.).  All in all I can't complain, I had fun, I ended up in a half-assed costume, and lastly, I went to bed happy about how my life has been going in Shanghai...

1 comment:

  1. WOW ! Sounds like so much fun !! I am glad to see you are so active and really enjoying your experience in Shanghi! I am still trying to convince Jason to let me go to China for a week and a half.......... No such luck so far, and I will be in my final semester at MCC before I graduate in April, so IDK if time will permit a trip until after- I will keep working on it because I REALLY WANT TO COME VISIT YOU!!! Keep blogging I <3 to hear about it all!!!