Halloween in Hongdae
By Micky Miranda
Halloween. One of the strangest, yet most enjoyable holidays of the year. It is a night when anybody can become anyone they desire. It is a night when debauchery runs amuck. As a child, you're told not to eat chandy, but come Halloween, all the rules are tossed out the window and anything goes.
In North America and Europe, Halloween is one of the biggest party nights of the year. Clubs host parties. Houses host parties. Schools, pools, frat parties. Parties, parties parties. But how about Asia? More specifically, how about Korea?
Well, being very curious about Halloween celebrations when I first got to Korea, I was told Itaewon was the place for Halloween themed parties. However, Itaewon wasn't going to be waht I was looking for. I wanted something a little different. That place would be the unofficial Halloween headquarters of Seoul. If you've ever arranged to meet an expat in Hongdae, you can guess where I'm talking about. The KFC outside exit 9. Hongdae Park.
If you have never been to Hongdae Park, it is a quintessential urban park. It has a small playground set, some bushes, and a few large open areas. On Saturday afternoons from April to October, it plays host to various vendors selling various crafts. At night, these vendors cede their territory to the local street artists. Year round, anyone is free to set up shop and perform.
Hongdae Park has truly become a key landmark for foreigners. It is essentially a meet-up/pre-drink spot. From students to teachers and company workers to backpackers, the entire expat community is well represented here. It is a great place to meet others.
Now back to Halloween. It is a perfect venue for the holiday. It is situated close to clubs. It is outdoors (obviously). Most crucially, it is big enough to handle the crowds consisting of minglers and live performers. Truly, you couldn't ask for a better place for people to show off their costumes. During Halloween, Hongdae Park truly peaks. Koreans and foreigners all mix together to create a great vibe. Everyone gets into character. Correction: everyone attempts to get into their character. Everyone gets loose, and it all adds up to one of the best nights of the year.
At The Seoul Stop, we wanted to try and capture that vibe through a series of pictures. I don't know if that is even possible, but we gave it a try. Enjoy the pictures, and next year, come and enjoy the night.