I don’t know about you, but Halloween time is definitely my favorite time of the year. From the pumpkin spice to the macabre, there’s something about Halloween that I just find magical (or maybe the correct word is creepy). Normally, Halloween, for me, is marked by parties and checking out Halloween decorations. This time around, things were a little different.
I found myself in Taiwan.
In the same way that I heard Japan has marketed Halloween (萬聖節 / wan sheng jie), I figured there might be a few Halloween decorations here and there. What I found blew my mind.
This is my recap of what it was like to experience Halloween in Taiwan.
Right from the gate, something was a little different. Signage at Taoyuan International Airport (臺灣桃園國際機場 / tai wan tao yuan guo ji ji chang) suggested Halloween might not just be an after thought.
Though you might not know if walking around, inside, many of the stores that cater to younger generations are decorated all around with Halloween-themed paraphernalia. I loved the decor in this shop in Ximending.
Many of the famous chains get in on the Halloween action, including Mister Donut. Would you want to eat any of these donuts?
Many of the Eslite Bookstores, which are kind of like a combination of mall and Barnes & Noble, are decorated with witches hats and jack-o’-lanterns.
Minxiong Kumquat Factory (金桔觀光工廠 / jin ju guan guang gong chang) went all out with spider webs, giant spiders, bones, and bats everywhere.
Love that they turned off some of the lights to make this old building spookier.
If these two had a name, what would they be called?
Cute lanterns above. They kind of remind me of decorations we made in elementary school.
「請勿靠近施工危險」(qing wu kao jin shi gong wei xian) “Please do not come near dangerous construction” or else you may turn into a skeleton.
I’m not sure if this piece of art was Halloween-related, but it’s super creepy to look at. The black and white color scheme also helps.
Even though this is more subtle, the Halloween colors are on point fir Ecstasy (one of the more recognizable fashion brands in Taiwan).
It’s even possible to find Halloween-themed candy. I didn’t give this a try, but it’s super interesting to me to think of who this would be marketed to.
Halloween is both cute and creepy in Taiwan, much like the United States! 「萬聖節派對」(wan sheng jie pai dui) “Halloween Party!”
As if all the sights around Taiwan weren’t enough, I was surprised that for the Halloween season, there was this store that went all in on everything you would need to celebrate Halloween in Taiwan.
Upon closer look there are Halloween costumes and Halloween decorations strewn everywhere.
Then inside, bam! It hits you.
Here are some Halloween masks and disguises.
This selection reminds me of something straight out of a Michaels. I love the concerned look on the green witch towards the bottom of this photo.
Halloween decoration from floor to ceiling!
They even have oversized hanging decorations.
Love this little girl’s expression. She’s going to grow up loving the Halloween season, for sure.
I can’t tell if something got lost in translation here, or if the composition of different characters is intentional. Either way, I love the creativity, including the undead pirate plumber ninja.
Anyone up for a masquerade?
Even seeing a few Halloween decorations in Taiwan made me smile. This store definitely took things to another level.
Here’s a short walkthrough of the many decorations in the store.
I went to the tallest Starbucks in the world at Taipei 101 and they had this little mochi ghost to devour!
Even the window displays get in on the holiday spirit! Love these bewitching black cats up to no good.
In terms of the actual Halloween day and Halloween weekend, there were a bunch of activities for kids. I was told there’s a big Halloween presence in the expat area of Taiwan, Tianmu (天母 / tian mu). For adults, there were many parties at clubs that had drink specials and prizes for best Halloween costume.
I ended up going to a club near Songshan and had a ton of fun.
Whether you’re looking to celebrate Halloween in Taiwan, or merely curious, I hope this post helps shed some light on what it’s like to experience Halloween in Taiwan. Though the experience is different than the United States, it’s still fun to see people in Taiwan getting into the holiday spirit. One day, I’ll have to check out Japan to see how they celebrate.
Lastly, wherever you are, whatever you do here’s wishing “Happy Halloween” to you!