Carving out a wild night of festive fear

By Todd Balazovic (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-10-25 10:24
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With Halloween creeping up, some Beijingers are looking to go bump in the night. METRO digs into different ways to let loose your dark side on All Saints' Day.

Suiting Up

For those looking to strike fear into the hearts of anyone around them, the appropriately named Alien Street, or Yabao Lu, in Chaoyang district offers probably the best hodgepodge of Halloween curio.

Whether you want to look like an alien or simply hope to pick up any of the multitude of wigs this market contains, it is one of the best-equipped, non-formal costume shops in town.

Of course, shoppers with a little creativity can scan the shelves of regular venues such as the Silk Market or Yaxiu, mixing and matching what is considered stylish on a normal day into something ghoulish.

Those who want a good costume but are scared stiff of entering the Silk Market melee should consider Beta Costume Rental (www.beeta.cn), based in Beijing. With costumes ranging from the more traditional vampire to Hollywood-esque renditions of Spiderman, this place will deliver to your door for around 70-200 yuan. Unfortunately, the website is only offered in Chinese.

Rotten Revelry

Spooky celebrations are a must for mischievous adults looking to flaunt their freakish nature on the one day a year when it's OK to be a bit strange and this year's Halloween celebrations are predicted to be bigger than ever.

Probably one of the biggest parties taking place this year will be the Yen Fetish Party on Oct 30 at the 706 Factory in 798 Art Zone. With a massive space and a deadly bass, the party boasts some of the friskiest tomfoolery in town.

Tickets are 150 yuan at the door and 200 yuan for VIPs; both include a free drink.

Though Halloween probably yields the most men-dressed-as-women than any other time of the year, it is sometimes better to leave it to the pros. Tun Bar's Drag Queen Halloween at Sanlitun South Street will be a raucous time with man muscle contests, drag queens and "DJ Spankings".

Tickets are 50 yuan at the door and proceeds go to the Beijing LBGT Center.

Deck the Halls

Get into a ghoulie mood by gearing your home up with some horrid Halloween dcor.

With online merchants making a fortune in sales last year, Taobao.com is the one-stop shop for cheap and easy decorations. However, if you don't read Chinese characters, the website can be difficult to navigate.

If you'd rather just point, instead of point and click, most foreign stores, such as Carrefour, also carry limited supplies of Halloween garnish.

Party for the Imps

While the childhood tradition of trick-or-treating may not be Beijing's most observed activity, there are still ample opportunities for parents to engrain their children with fond Halloween memories.

Probably the most famous children's party in Beijing is the Beijing Kids Halloween Costume Brunch Ball at the Hilton Beijing Wanfujing. With activities such as on-site trick-or-treating, a five-star brunch and a children's costume parade, it's an opportunity to bring the Halloween spirit overseas.

The event will be held on Sunday Oct 31, from 10:30 am to 2 pm and tickets for the event cost 250 yuan for adults and 150 yuan for children. Get more information at 5820-7700 Ext 865.

Pumpkin Patch

Testing one's culinary mettle by carving a creepy face into the sides of a pumpkin is the one All Saint's Day must-do activity that seems to span every generation.

While pumpkins can easily be bought at most produce stands in Beijing, The Schoolhouse in Mutianyu has lifted the art of jack-o'-lantern carving to the next level this year, hosting their 2nd annual pumpkin carving contest.

With three age categories to compete in - 12 and under, 13-17 and adults - prizes range from a free children's birthday bash to a weekend getaway for two.

The carving contest will be held on Oct 30 from 2 pm to 4 pm and registration for the event is free on a first-come-first-served basis. More information is available at 6162-6506.

Carving out a wild night of festive fear