Masks, costumes and other Halloween-related merchandise are displayed at a store in Handan, Hebei province, on Wednesday, the day before the celebration. Halloween has become more popular in China, but some of its scarier masks and costumes cause concern that they may affect children negatively. — Halloween has gained increasing popularity among China’s youngest generation, with many kindergartens holding Halloween parties, but complaints from parents and cases of frightened, crying children are also being heard.
Wang Dan, a mother from Zhengzhou in Henan province, said she felt awkward trying to make a pumpkin lantern for her daughter. She tried using rags, straws and even an LED light tube but none succeeded.
“After spending 1.5 hours on the pumpkin, I was exhausted and just painted some color on it,” she said, adding that although the kindergarten asked parents to make a lantern with their children, her 3-year-old could do little to help.
It was the first time Wang’s daughter has attended a Halloween party. Days before the festival, the school summoned parents for a meeting, teaching them to make pumpkin lanterns and asking them to make children’s costumes by hand.
The parents also helped decorate the classroom with spiders, cobwebs and witches. “My daughter was not afraid of that, but I heard that some timid children were scared and had nightmares,” Wang said.
Cao Yanmei, a mother in Shanghai, was unhappy when she received a message from her son’s teachers asking her to prepare a Halloween costume for her 3-year-old.
“At first I thought it was not suitable for the kindergarten to expose children to things that aren’t peaceful or friendly, like ghosts or evil spirits, but I changed my mind quickly, as this is also a chance for him to learn different cultures and customs,” she said.
Cao avoided terrifying elements when she prepared the costume. She chose a pumpkin mask, which she said was more neutral than a bloody mask, and an eye patch and cloak, rather than the popular witch’s hat.
To parents who are unwilling to put time and effort into making a costume, Taobao.com, China’s largest online marketplace, is an easier option. Han Jing, a mother from Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, just clicked her computer mouse and spent 60 yuan [db:内容2]