I was recently at Hongqiao Market doing research for the magazine when I stumbled upon a treasure trove of Halloween costumes. There’s a rather confusing collection of buildings there, all with slightly different names and hawking different wares. Most families know Tianle Toy Market as one of the places to buy toys and gifts, but there’s another place called Tianya Hongqiao Pearl Market just east of the main building. You can’t tell at first just by looking at the shopfronts full of vases and jade, but there’s one shop in the basement chock-a-block with Halloween costumes.
It started when I walked into the main entrance of Tianle Toy Market and approached a stall with Halloween products. As I was rifling through the costume selection, the shop owner came up to me. "We have much more stuff just next door," she said. "Follow me." She led me through a back door, out the building, into another, down two flights of stairs, and through a network of winding hallways.
We ended up at an unnamed store in the basement, and it did not disappoint. Though not that large, the rows were stuffed with masks, costumes for kids and adults, wigs, face paint, Halloween decorations (including severed limbs, tombstones, and cobwebs), novelty glasses, and fake swords. There was also a small selection of birthday party supplies like plates and hats.
The kids’ costumes ranged from RMB 40-100. I saw superhero costumes, princess dresses, animal outfits, and "job" outfits (e.g. surgeon and chef). The adult costumes ranged from RMB 70-160 and included the usual selection of "sexy" costumes and standbys like vampires. Smaller items like masks and ears were cheap, starting from RMB 10-15.
The store even has website if you’d like to check if they have what you want ahead of time. You can communicate with the owner, Wang Li, on QQ there (Chinese only).
Ri Yue Xing Kuanghuan 日月星狂欢
Daily 9am-6pm. Shop GH0502, B2/F, Tianya Hongqiao Jewelry Market, 136 Fahuasi Jie, Chongwen District (8710 5080, 136 1138 9222, 139 1005 6181) 崇文区法华寺街136号天雅红桥珠宝城地下2层GH0502店铺
Photos by Sijia Chen