Trick or treat! 不给糖，就捣蛋
Trick or treat! 不给糖，就捣蛋 (bù gěi táng, jiù dǎo dàn)
Unless you have been too flustered with the kids this half term, you'd probably have noticed your local retail shop displays covered with creepy crawlies and cobwebs. While it’s not a traditional Chinese festival, Halloween is everyone's favourite especially with the children as it's a great excuse to gorge on sweets (糖果 - táng guǒ) and dress up as their favourite superhero (超级英雄 – chāo jí yīng xióng). It is also a great way to use the celebration to teach your children some of the Chinese vocabulary for Halloween while you are carving pumpkins (南瓜– nán guā) or making ghoulish treats together.
Halloween or 万圣节 (wàn shèng jié) which literally translates to “10,000 Saints Festival”, comes from Hallowe'en which means hallowed evening or holy evening. People believed that during this time, the barrier between the world of the dead and undead was thin and that spirits could pass through into our realm. In order to appease any "angry" ghosts (幽灵 - yōu líng）, people would set up places at their dinner tables for them and light bonfires to ward off evil spirits. Thankfully, today's Halloween activities are a little less “scary”, typically involving harmless trick or treating and dressing up as vampires (吸血鬼 – xī xuè guǐ) or zombies (僵尸 – jiāng shī).
So whether you are staying in to watch a horror movie (恐怖电影 – kǒng bù diàn yǐng) or going trick or treating, try to encourage your children to learn at least one Chinese word relating to the festival starting with Trick or treat! (不给糖，就捣蛋! – bù gěi táng, jiù dǎo dàn)
Happy Halloween! (万圣节快! -- wàn sheng jié kuài lè)
For a family friendly "scary" movie, we love the Disney Pixar cartoon "Coco". Click here for our learning through music series to watch the YouTube video of the theme song "Remember Me" in Mandarin.