Halloween revelry in Japan to take new forms during pandemic
Japan Times -- Oct 23
Halloween in Japan is expected to be celebrated in new ways this year, at socially distanced events or online with revelers upping their facial decorations, as attempts are being made to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Concern that the famed Shibuya scramble crossing in Tokyo may become a virus hotspot, should tens of thousands of revelers congregate there on Oct. 31 as in the past, has forced the ward’s Mayor, Ken Hasebe, to call on people to celebrate virtually.

People are instead being encouraged to enjoy a virtually created Shibuya, approved by the ward, in which people can walk around as avatars and show off their costumes. They can also watch a live show by pop singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

Other cities are switching to online celebrations as well.

Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, which saw around 120,000 people attend its costume parade last year, has launched an online costume contest on its website. Contestants from around the world can submit videos of themselves wearing their costumes for a grand prix award of ¥500,000 ($4,700).

“Halloween originates from the practice of expelling evil spirits. We want our wish of expelling the coronavirus to be granted by using the possibility of people connecting online from home,” said Yohei Yatabe, who manages the project.

Theme parks are also taking various measures to avoid becoming virus hotspots.

News source: Japan Times
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