Halloween is just around the corner and if you’re learning Korean and you’re interested in Korean culture, you’ve probably wondered if Koreans celebrate Halloween. While Halloween isn’t regarded as an important cultural event like it is in the US, it does make for a great occasion to get out those Halloween costumes and party the night away. On October 31st, some Koreans take to the streets to celebrate, with the most famous Halloween parties being held in Itaewon, the international district in Seoul. But before you join in on Halloween celebrations, let’s brush up that Korean Halloween vocabulary, shall we?
해피 할로윈 [hae-ppi hal-lo-win] or 해피 핼로윈 [hae-ppi hael-lo-win]
This one is quite easy since it is almost exactly the same as in English. Both 할로윈 and 핼로윈 can be used, but the former seems to be more common. Also, those expressions are informal, so you might want to use a more formal expression like 즐거운 할로윈 보내세요 if you’re talking to someone older than you.
사탕 주세요 [sa-tang ju-se-yo] or 골탕 먹을래요? 사탕 줄래요? [gol-tang meok-eul-lae-yo? Sa-tang jul-lae-yo?]
The most common version of trick or treat in Korean is 사탕 주세요, which means “give me candy”. As you can see, it does not quite have the same meaning as the English version and doesn’t really seem as “threatening” as its English counterpart. A more literal translation of trick or treat would be 골탕 먹을래요? 사탕 줄래요? which means “Do you want to be tricked? (Or) do you want to give me candy?” and this one conveys the original meaning a bit better.
할로윈 의상 [hal-lo-win ui-sang] or 할로윈 복장 [hal-lo-win bok-jang]
의상 and 복장 refer to clothes or attire, but can also describe a costume. They are both commonly used when referring to a Halloween costume, but the English word, 코스튬, can also be used in this case.
More Common Korean Halloween Vocabulary
무섭다 [mu-seop-da] – to be scary
마녀 [ma-nyeo] – witch
호박 [ho-bak] – pumpkin
귀신 [gwi-shin] – ghost
좀비 [jom-bi] – zombie
해골 [hae-gol] – skeleton
괴물 [gwe-mul] – monster
사탕 [sa-tang] – candy
과자 [gwa-ja] – snacks
If you want an extensive list of Korean Halloween words, check out this page (which also provides lots of other Korean study materials that helped me a ton when I started learning Korean).
That’s it for today! I wish you all a spooky Halloween!
Till next time,