Old Quarter rattles its bones ahead of Halloween

By Lan Huong, Nguyen Ngoan   October 30, 2019 | 02:42 am PT
Vendors lining the streets of Hanoi's Old Quarter are gearing up for a frightening Halloween celebration with scary props, costumes and toys.

Street vendors along Hang Ma Street have begun putting up ghoulish decorations including pumpkin props, scary masks, skulls, skeletons, and sickle-scythes, days before Halloween begins on Thursday.

Hanois Hang Ma Street gets spooky as Halloween approaches - 1

Tuan, a shop owner on Hang Luoc Street, said many customers have been hunting for horror toys in the past few days. But, since it is difficult to import more products in such a short period of time, prices have surged due to supply shortage.


Customers buy props at the Dong Xuan and Hang Luoc intersection.

Between 7-9 p.m., streets are packed with streams of slow driving shoppers who add to traffic congestion. Many parents said they came here to buy costumes so their children could take part in the event at school.

Hanois Old Quarters Street gets spooky as Halloween approaches - 3

Shops display a wide variety of outfits such as superhero characters, bone-printed clothes, and witches’ hats. Depending on style and size, the price of a witch costume can range from VND100,000-500,000 ($4.3-21.6).

Every day, a store on Hang Ma Street sells more than 10 sets of shirts and hats.


According to shop owners on Hang Ma Street, they sell creepy items from China along with handicraft products, which are not as popular with customers.

Son, a shopper from Hoang Mai District, said: "Domestic toys are not eye-catching and not scary enough, so I had to buy Chinese goods despite worrying they may not be as good for children."


Tourists pose in their costumes.

Thuc Anh (left) said this is the first year she celebrated Halloween on Hang Ma Street.

"The atmosphere is fun and crowded. Besides my niece, I also noticed other children seem very excited coming here," she said.

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