Halloween in South Korea with a Focus on Pyeongtaek

Wondering about Halloween in Korea? Here are the details on how it is celebrated in Korea and specifically in the Pyeongtaek area.

How is Halloween celebrated in South Korea?

Korea does not officially celebrate Halloween. Due to this, South Korea does not fully understand the unique ways the holiday is celebrated around the world. In turn, such a lack of understanding means you might not be able to find the exact ghoulish Halloween experience you are looking for while living here.

Instead, you may find South Korea offers new ways of interpreting the Halloween holiday. Such interpretations may feel uncomfortable and confusing. They also may make you feel sad because they are close to what you miss from home but not the same. Like finding the donut that you thought was filled with chocolate filling actually contained red bean paste. Both of these donuts are delicious, but not when all you wanted was chocolate like home.

If you know that Halloween is going to look similar in some places, but celebrated differently it can help you be more open to the experiences that do exist. For example, in South Korea Halloween is often viewed more as an adult holiday. There will usually be great events for adults to wear costumes and celebrate all night. Such Halloween events generally occur in areas historically known for having a lot of foreigners (such as Itaewon or areas near US Military bases). If you have kids, areas near US military bases will also often have events with your family in mind. Such events will be different than what happens in the US, but still offer a chance to develop a sense of community and place.

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Always remember that life in Korea changes quickly. Each year the Halloween holiday evolves and takes on new characteristics. It is impossible to predict what the Halloween experience will be year-to-year, especially if you live in the countryside, so just stay open to new ideas.

How is Halloween celebrated in places like Pyeongtaek, South Korea near Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Force Base?

The current presence of Halloween in South Korean culture relates, in large part, to three factors: 1) the ubiquitous presence of English teachers teaching across the country. For decades, South Koreans have grown up with Halloween parties in their English classrooms; 2) local governments near US military bases adopted the holiday to support US troops living abroad; and 3) capitalism loves finding new ways to market things.

Such influences mean that many young people and families with kids love celebrating a version of Halloween that involves different aspects of the holiday. Each year, barring the current pandemic, you usually find different versions of Halloween being celebrated at malls or theme parks.

When are Halloween events announced?

South Korean culture is quite different than US culture in the fact that most events aren’t announced until 1-2 weeks before they happen. Sometimes Halloween parties are announced only a few days before the event. Don’t get stressed if you aren’t seeing announcements, something will happen and you just have to have your heart open for whatever it might be. This brings me to the new key point.

Halloween is the perfect time to plan your own party or community event

Don’t be shy about planning your own Halloween party! Halloween in South Korea offers the perfect opportunity for you to host your own cultural experience and share what the frightful day means to you. Halloween doesn’t conflict with any other Korean holidays and people are usually available to gather. You can throw the Halloween event of your dreams and everyone will likely show up and make it a massive success. This could be at a coffee shop, a reserved community room, or a trunk-or-treat event.

Where can I buy Halloween decorations in South Korea?

Over the years, an increasing number of Halloween decorations are being sold at local stores. You can usually find such decorations at box stores such as Emart, Home Plus, and Lotte Mart. Most Daisos also carry Halloween decorations. If shopping in-person sounds too stressful, you can also find Halloween items on GMarket or Coupang and have them shipped to your house.

Where can I find Halloween decorations in Pyeongtaek, South Korea near Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Force Base?

If you live in Pyeongtaek, you can shop for Halloween decorations at one of the following locations. The selection of Halloween supplies in Pyeongtaek varies greatly year to year without any ability to predict what will happen. However, selections will likely improve as South Korea continues to become a more international countries and more international residents move to areas outside of Seoul:

Daiso Saegyo

Daiso Saegyo0

031-691-6016

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기 평택시 평택로 311

This is a giant three floor Daiso. A popular solar store style brand offering affordable home and lifestyle items.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Daiso Saegyo address (Copy and paste into preferred Maps System): 경기 평택시 평택로 311

Starfield Mall Anseong

Starfield Mall Anseong5

1833-9001

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기 안성시 공도읍 서동대로 3930-39

A big mall filled with lots of things like play areas, food courts, grocery shopping, clothes shopping, movie theater, etc.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Starfield Mall Anseong address (Copy and paste into preferred Maps System): 경기 안성시 공도읍 서동대로 3930-39

Lotte Mart Pyeongtaek Branch

Lotte Mart Pyeongtaek Branch0

031-8053-2500

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기 평택시 평택5로 30

Great box store with many additional services. Easy to visit with a car and near the 20 Bus line. Great restaurants in the area. See the SOS calendar for regularly scheduled closing days.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Lotte Mart Pyeongtaek Branch address (Copy and paste into preferred Maps System): 경기 평택시 영신로 29

Home Plus Songtan Branch

Home Plus Songtan Branch2.5

031-8053-8000

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기도 평택시 경기대로 1103

Department store comparable to Lotte Mart and Emart.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

Home Plus Songtan Branch address (Copy and paste into preferred Maps System):  경기 평택시 경기대로 1103

E-Mart Pyeongtaek Jije

E-Mart Pyeongtaek Jije5

031-371-1234

Copy and paste phone numbers into Naver Maps to get directions

Hangul Address

경기도 평택시 영신로 29

Nice emart near the express train. Closed the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month.

(Listing information provided by the South of Seoul app)

E-Mart Pyeongtaek Jije address (Copy and paste into preferred Maps System): 경기 평택시 영신로 29

What do I do if I can’t find the holiday decorations that I need?

If you need help finding specific items, contact a concierge service such as Wonderful. Wonderful can do your shopping for you for a small fee. This takes the stress and hassles out of sourcing exactly what you need to create your ideal Halloween experience.

Join the Pyeongtaek Food & Fun Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our Pyeongtaek Food & Fun Facebook Group. The South of Seoul moderated community of active and friendly Pyeongtaek international residents makes moving to Pyeongtaek easier. With so many different voices and opinions, it is always refreshing to see everyone’s adventures in our local community. In addition, all of the posts shared introduce our community to new places and old places that can feel new all over again.

Also, many local businesses that may decide to celebrate Halloween will announce their events in this community.

Volunteer with South of Seoul

Interested in working with a fun team of talented volunteers? The South of Seoul volunteer team is always looking for other like-minded folks to research information, compile blogs, and edit content.