calendar Halloween

How to Say Halloween in Chinese

Even though Halloween is not a Chinese holiday, it has become very popular in China, Taiwan, as well as other Asian countries. In this article, we will focus on learning 18 must-know Halloween vocabulary in Mandarin Chinese, while we won’t spend much time on the cultural background of this holiday since you may know more than me! Of course, as usual, we have a cute and fun infographic that comes along with it. 

This article is short but fun! As I am writing this article, I have realized that some Halloween vocabulary in Mandarin Chinese are quite literal! Very different from in English! 

Carving pumpkins is one of the traditional activities! Want a Jack-o-lantern that is unique, so you can show off to your friends and neighbors? Carve some Chinese characters into the pumpkin! We have 12 free printable templates below! 

Happy learning!

calendar Halloween

Halloween

Many people translate Halloween in Chinese as “万圣节 wànshèngjié,” but the actual Halloween is on November first. And October 31 evening is the night before. That’s why the actual night the children having trick or treat should be called 万圣夜 wàn shèng yè, the literal meaning of which is “ten-thousand,” “holy or saints” and “eve or evening.” 

pumpkin
pumpkin

Pumpkin and Jack-O-Lantern

  • Pumpkin: 南瓜 nánguā
  • Jack-o-lantern: 南瓜灯 nánguā dēng. The Chinese name of jack-o-lantern is quite simple, it literally means “pumpkin” and “lantern or light.”

Orange and Black

The two most popular colors not only for this holiday, but also for the autumn season.

  • Orange: 橘 (色) jú (sè)
  • Black: 黑(色) hēi(sè)

Language note: The word “色 sè” means “color” in Chinese. When saying a color, you can either just say that color, or add “色 sè” afterwards. For instance, “黑 hēi” means “black,” and “黑色 hēisè” means “black color.” But we prefer to say “the color + 色 sè” when just talking about the color. When describing something of a certain color, there are two ways to say it. Here are the examples:

  • That girl with “red hair”… 

Red hair: 红 头发 hóng tóufǎ. The structure is “color + noun.”

  • A pair of “black shoes”…

Black shoes: 黑色的 鞋子 hēisè de xiézi. The structure is “color + 色 + 的 + noun”

candy

Candy

Candy: 糖果 tángguǒ

Do you know “糖 táng” means “sugar,” and “果 guǒ” means fruits. Put them together it becomes candy! 

trick-or-treat

Trick or treat

The translation for this term is quite interesting! It is “不给糖,就捣蛋!Bù gěi táng, jiù dǎodàn!” The casual translation can be “if you don’t give me candy, I will mess around!”

spider-web

Spider and Spider web

Spider: 蜘蛛 zhīzhū

Spider web: 蜘蛛网 zhīzhū wǎng

“网 wǎng” in Chinese means “web, net.” For instance, go on the Internet is “上网 shàngwǎng.”

haunted-house

Ghost and haunted house

Ghost in Chinese is “鬼 guǐ.”

Haunted house: “鬼屋 guǐwū” literally means “ghost” and “house.”

skeleton

Skull and skeleton

Skeleton: 骷髅 kūlóu

Skull: 骷髅头 kūlóu tóu. The literal meaning of “骷髅头 kūlóu tóu” is “skeleton head!”

moon

Moon

Moon: 月亮 yuèliàng.

Halloween custom

Costume

Costume: 服装 fúzhuāng. “服装 fúzhuāng” is not for Halloween specifically, it can be used for other occasions. 

Language bonus: when I thought about Halloween costumes, this idiom always came to mind, so I would like to introduce it: 奇装异服 qízhuāngyìfú, which means “bizarre dress.” “服装 fúzhuāng” can’t quite express all those different kinds of dress since the phrase can also be used for formal dress, casual dress, and others. “奇装异服 qízhuāngyìfú” can be used to mean a costume that is not often seen on a regular basis.

bat

Bat

Bat: 蝙蝠 biānfú.

Bonus: It is not related to Halloween. But since we talk about “bat,” why not learn how to say “batman” in Chinese? It is “蝙蝠侠 biānfú xiá.” We usually use “侠 xiá” to describe a person who is a chivalrous person.   

vampire

Vampire

Vampire: 吸血鬼 xīxuèguǐ. Vampire in Chinese is a fun translation too. “吸 xī” means “inhale, suck in.” “血 xuè” means ”blood,” and we learned earlier that “鬼 guǐ” means “ghost.” So, the ghost who is sucking your blood is a vampire. 

Halloween Vocabulary Infographic - Simplified Chinese Version

Halloween in Chinese

Halloween Vocabulary Infographic - Traditional Chinese Version

Halloween in Chinese

12 Printable Pumpkin Carving Chinese Character Templates

Let your Jack-O-Lantern be the coolest one on your street! Right click to download the templates! All templates are designed in Letter size. You may need to adjust the size according to the size of your pumpkin! (I have to admit, some random ideas were from my students!)

Pumpkin

Autumn

Autumn

Charater

character

Eat

to eat

Chinese language

Chinese

China

China

Laugh

laugh

Hundred

hundred

Money

money

America

United Kingdom 

UK

To have fun, to play

to have fun

Other holiday infographics

Hope you have fun learning those words. How do you say those words in your language? Share with us!

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