Halloween was introduced to Vietnam in a touristy way, Halloween night in Vietnam is basically formalistic with the main purpose is just to have fun.
Halloween, the most anticipated holiday of October, although originated from Western culture, is starting to migrate and adapted by more and more Eastern countries. On the day, candies are being stocked up, decoration is being hung and the excitement is going up, Halloween’s spirit has already been in the air since October begins and has no sigh of cooling down. However, as much as the traditional concept of the holiday is still being reserved through its spreading, Eastern Halloween versus Western Halloween is much different from each other.
Vietnamese also celebrate and enjoy Halloween parties. As Vietnamese people believe that when a person dies, the soul goes to hell where it is judged based on its behavior from the earth to be sent to heaven or kept in hell and souls in hell can gain release by the prayers of the living, Halloween is of closest ritual to the Vietnamese when naked hungry souls fly out and return to the family altars.
With the symbolized pumpkin engraved with deformed head on a typical black-and-orange theme, Halloween is becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam, especially in the major cities. Halloween parties are mostly held at backpacker areas, usually in coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
The most and properly the crowded area in Ho Chi Minh City (like any other big cities) is the center. Bui Vien Street, Ho Chi Minh backpacker area, will be the place to go if you want to experiment the true spirit of the holiday. Lights will be up all night and there will be many “ghosts” as well as “devils” wandering along the street, they will “gladly” give you a minor heart attack by suddenly jump out and scare you, and they will laugh with you when you realize it was all for good fun.
There are many activities for Halloween party but the most popular activity which appears at almost every party is wearing Halloween costumes. At coffee shops scary movies are often played until midnight while bars and restaurants offer appealing Halloween deals with uniquely Halloween dishes such as blood soup made by tomato and musk sticks or Tombstoned biscuits with the engraved R.I.P letters.
The more upscale hotels tend to throw a buffet party with a $20 – $40 ticket and invite singers and dancers to stir up the party.