Posted by : VANITY Blog Monday, 27 October 2014

Photo courtesy of: Nick Taylor


Did you know that over half of the world doesn’t celebrate Halloween? (Well, now, you know!) Of course, that does not mean it is less important than other annual celebrations.

Because the country where I was born does not celebrate Halloween, it was one of the exciting things I had looked forward to when I first came to Canada. I had heard fantastical tales all about the wonders about this festival which gives free, yes FREE, candy to children as long as they dress up. When the day actually came along, I was more than self-conscious about wearing a bright-orange smiling pumpkin (though I was only 11). Of course, there was nothing to be scared about; Halloween is great fun, always spiced with scary stories, regularly filled with autumn treats, and there is never a lack of things to do. Ever year, Vancouver offers various events and activities that enliven the Halloween spirit in the city.

The Fright Nights at Playland is one of the quintessential Halloween events that a typical Vancouverite goes to every year. I think it is overrated, but it is a great experience to have; you get to experience free rides and 7 haunted houses (I strongly suggest the carn-evil), some performances, plus the usually Playland stock. The decorations are amazing, with dressed-up professionals hiding amongst the visitors ready to scare the crap out of you. A word of warning though, line-up can get crazy the closer it is to Halloween (up to 1-2 hour waits for Haunted Houses). But overall it is a memorable experience, definitely worth a try.

There are also haunted houses located all over Vancouver, be it renovated homes, temporary set-ups, or rented community centres--someday we’ll probably start seeing haunted vans roaming the streets! These are great if you like a good scare. A couple of good ones I’ve heard about: the Dunbar Haunted House, the China Town Haunted House, and the Reaper’s Haunted House and Maze.

You can also go old-school and do the neighbourhood trick-or-treat. Just dress-up, ring the doorbell of any decorated house and say the magic words. Try to stay in the suburbs though, as apartments usually don’t hand out candy (some business districts also hand out candy: Yaletown, Metrotown, and parts of downtown.) On a side note, I would like to remind you not to eat any sketchy “candy” that has been opened or is “self made”!

If you are feeling more of the I-just-want-to-stay-at-home vibe, there are still a multitude of fun things to try. For example, I spent an entire Halloween carving pumpkins. They are cheap, they look great pretty much regardless of skill…and if you can’t carve them all, you can eat them! It is also a great time to make…more interestingly shaped foods (‘finger’-biscuits, meringue ghosts, anything pumpkin spiced…) and stretch back to enjoy some cheesy, or really, really, scary (or both) movies.

Really, the possibilities are endless. This fun and scary holiday is not one to miss out on! This week, don't miss out on fun Halloween activities--head outside and discover the wonders of Halloween!

- Selena

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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.

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