Adults celebrate Halloween?

Is Halloween a spooky holiday just for children?

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Should adults celebrate Halloween?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

Happy Halloween! From carving pumpkins to trick-or-treating, dressing in spooky costumes or apple bobbing, Britons are embracing the spooky season more and more each year.

The UK spent a massive £419 million on Halloween celebrations in 2018 - with three quarters of millennials joining in the festivities.

But should it just be a holiday for children?

An academic explores why it is becoming popular among millennials, while one commentator laments that it is being taken over by adults.

The Claim

Linus Owens, an associate professor of sociology at Middlebury College in the US, looks at why Halloween is becoming so popular among adults.

In an article for The Conversation, she says that the embracing of the spooky season among young adults could have "something to do with the fact that adulthood itself has changed".

The academic notes that the traditional markers of adulthood have become "less clear and less attainable".

Owens writes: "Traditional markers of adult responsibility and independence – family, career, home ownership – have either been delayed or abandoned altogether, by choice or necessity.

"Transitions to adulthood have become uncertain, drawn out and complicated."

Halloween allows millennials to "experiment and explore self and identity", putting their skills and cultural competence to work.

The Counterclaim

However, not everyone is a fan of adults taking part in Halloween.

Extra.ie's Louise Burne explains why she hates Halloween, arguing that it is a holiday for children that has been taken over by adults.

She says that she has "never gotten the fuss over Halloween", and failed to understand why people "go into meltdown" over the spooky season.

Burne argues: "There is no need for adults to celebrate Halloween.

"Where is the fun in dressing up in an outfit that you're going to freeze in for the night, surrounded by a bunch of drunk vampires and superheroes in a stuffy nightclub or at a packed house party?"

"Not for me, thank you very much."

The Facts

According to market research firm Mintel, Brits splashed out a massive £419 million on Halloween last year - an increase of five per cent from 2017. It is also nearly double the amount Brits spent on the spooky season in 2013 (£230 million).

They found that half of Britons spend money on the celebrations. Around a quarter of Halloween shoppers (24 per cent) spent less than £10 in 2018, while 25 per cent spent between £10 and £25 and 17 per cent paid between £26 and £50 for the festivities.

Around 85 per cent of parents of under-fives will fork out for costumes and decorations, while over three quarters of millennials (77 per cent) will embrace Halloween.

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Why Halloween must be considered the best holiday

As the famous saying goes, ‘it’s always Halloween in my soul’. I love Halloween, and have been known to begin preparing costumes (it’s important to have multiple options for each event) at the beginning of Summer. If anyone dares mention the ‘C-word’ before the 31st of October, I become volatile, almost as bad as when I see unnecessarily early stocks of mince pies and chocolate selections on sale in the supermarkets. I couldn’t imagine how, but if Halloween isn’t your holiday of choice, there are a few things you ought to consider before you write the whole day off as American rubbish.

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