I don’t want to sound like a wicked old witch, but I do let out a small sigh of cynicism when Halloween rolls around. So as Halloween celebrations catch on in the UK, will you be joining in the fiendish festivities?
Halloween is coming and, as expected, the shops are full to bursting with merchandise for us to buy. And it’s no small wonder, as a recent YouGov survey found that UK consumers will spend an estimated £268m celebrating this year’s most haunting holiday.
Compared to the £2.1m Brits spent celebrating Halloween in 2001, the spookiest day of year has seen a surge in popularity. The survey found 53% of adults agreed that Halloween is a fun event for kids, yet only 23% of adults plan to celebrate (or have an excuse for a fancy dress party!).
Is Halloween just a headache?
I don’t want to bring the mood down, but I’ll admit I don’t have much love for Halloween. In fact, I’d say I sit firmly in the 45% of adults who see it as an ‘unwelcome American cultural import’. Don’t get me wrong – it looks like great fun in America. But over there, it’s a rich tradition where everyone seems to get involved and take part.
In the UK, I don’t look forward to walking down the chilly, dark streets spotting the odd, sad pumpkin or flimsy plastic skeleton outside the doors of those who tried to make an effort. And I don’t want to imagine the disappointed faces of those children who go trick-or-treating, only to be met with endless unopened doors as homeowners (like me) hide behind their curtains.
And finally, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been unsure about a bunch of too-old-for-trick-or-treating-teenagers knocking at my door for their free food as a reward for donning a ‘Scream’ mask.
Despite the millions being spent on Halloween in the UK, the mood has only captured 8% of adults who said they’ll carve a pumpkin for the day and a mere 4% who said they’ll be taking their kids trick or treating. It’s hard to ignore the enormous benefit to the UK retail industry, so you can see why so much merchandise makes its way onto the shelves.
Another brilliant Bonfire Night
I for one am looking forward to another brilliant Bonfire Night as 5 November approaches. As a nation, Bonfire Night has us bursting with excitement as we plan to spend an estimated £386m on celebrations. Overall, the YouGov survey found that 29% of us plan to attend an organised display (me included), while 12% will buy fireworks to use at home or to take to a party.
So, roasted chestnuts here I come – but I’m afraid my lights will be out if you come knocking on my door on 31 October. Will you be celebrating these autumnal festivities or should we try to stop the spread of horrible Halloween while we still can?
Which do you prefer?
Bonfire night (45%, 79 Votes)
Neither (43%, 76 Votes)
Halloween (11%, 20 Votes)
Total Voters: 175