From storefronts to websites, Halloween has become a global marketing phenomenon over the past decade. Although the holiday has variations around the world—many countries do celebrate All Saint’s Day on November 1—the black and orange pumpkin fest that we know in America is definitely not a global tradition. Why then are there Halloween decorations in places like Dubai, Jakarta, and Paris?
The short answer is marketing. In the 1990s, for example, there was a boom in businesses looking to boost sales before the Christmas season in France. Halloween was the perfect excuse to celebrate and suddenly Paris was full of pumpkins. Today in France Halloween might be more limited to parties and themed events, like this spooky tour of the Stade de France, but global French brands like high-end department stores Galeries Lafayette are still using Halloween to draw crowds into their locations worldwide.
The Jakarta store will be celebrating a “Halloween à la mode” with a wicked fashion night out, costumes encouraged. We imagine there will be some amazing outfits. And who knows what excitement people will find at the new Galeries Lafayette Bejing, which celebrated its grand opening a few weeks ago.
Halloween celebrations aren’t just limited to companies in Asia, as more and more people embrace this holiday as a time to dress up, party, and combine festivities with traditional myths. In Indonesia the western images of horror have combined with traditional stories of spirits to make the day even more spooky, according to the Jakarta Post. Jakarta will certainly be full of parties for kids and adults, and in Hong Kong stalls have been selling masks for over a month in preparation for October 31.
How have you seen Halloween marketed or celebrated around the world or in your culture? How and where will you be celebrating this year? Tweet with the hashtag #GlobalHalloween and share your story and photos!