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What does Halloween mean/mean to you?

(189 Posts)
FlouncerInDenial Sun 25-Oct-20 00:46:51

Interested in what others may say.

So, for me. I'm not a Christian, but went to a CofE school in the 70s.
I'm sure we were told that Halloween was a biblical thing. The day (night, probably) before All Saints Day.
This was before trick or treating was a "thing". Although we had begun to hear about that as being a thing in America.

So, what is it to you?

OP’s posts: |
Nomnomarrgh Sun 25-Oct-20 04:51:17

A massive waste of money that the Americans pushed into a huge financial event. Or nothing.

I try to be nice about it for dd, but to me its a non-event.

Nicolastuffedone Sun 25-Oct-20 05:04:38


Housewife2010 Sun 25-Oct-20 05:05:40

I am relieved that we are unlikely to have trick or treaters this year as we are in a tier 3 area. I hate strangers banging on my door begging. I think it's fine if you have Halloween decorations outside but definitely not if you don't. Growing up in the 70s and 80s it was so low-key in England. I went to one Halloween party in all that time. I used to watch a scary film with my mum and once made a turnip lantern.

sunnysidegold Sun 25-Oct-20 06:37:38

For me it doesn't hold any religious significance. We celebrate by dressing up and being a bit spooky. We normally go to a local firework and dr setup thing but that's moved online this year. We are going to make a haunted house cake (from the Tesco magazine), pumpkin carving and maybe watch some spooky films.

DisgruntledPelican Sun 25-Oct-20 06:43:16

I like carved pumpkins, general spooky imagery and small children dressing up for trick or treating or little parties. I can tolerate students/young adults dressing up for parties or themed club nights etc but glad I’m too old for that now.

I am not sold on the massive amounts of themed food & drink in supermarkets, or Halloween beginning around 4 October and lasting the whole month, or strange teenagers showing up at the door and expecting money.

CherryValanc Sun 25-Oct-20 06:51:57

It's not something I love, but children enjoy it.
I used to like dressing up as a child and having a 'party' ("spooky" food.and a few games or watched a scary film). Then going out with friends as a teenager. As a parent it means helping my young children dress up and 'admiring' trick or treaters (I do feel sad so few costumes are now longer homemade ones - though this year in my older boys' school there were a lot of homemade ones).

It also means I can never be failed to be amazed at how people can be ignorant in their judgements.There's that ever present large swathe of MN who think it's American. (Which makes it a Bad Thing.) or think trick or treating is the same as "begging".

It also means for me a back holiday!!

eurochick Sun 25-Oct-20 06:52:09

Nothing. My parents always hated the local kids "begging" and never answered the door. Now I have a child myself I see it as a bit of fun. Usually we just carve a pumpkin. This year we have done more decorating to try to liven up half term as we would usually be away on holiday.

TobblyBobbly Sun 25-Oct-20 06:58:24

It has no religious meaning for me (I'm CofE). It's just a fun thing for the kids.

lazylinguist Sun 25-Oct-20 06:58:37

For me it's my birthday. I was born in 1971 and trick-or-treating was definitely a thing when I was a child. I would have friends round for my birthday, we'd all go trick-or-treating and then have a sleepover. In my 20s I used to have a fancy dress party every year.

These days I carve pumpkins with the dc. They used to go trick-or-treating round the village. Dd is a bit old for that now. She still dresses up, and goes to the woods with her friends and a load of sweets and they tell scary stories.

We don't buy 'Halloween tat', but tbh I'm getting a little fed up with the endless superior middle class bleating on here about everyone else's way of celebrating Halloween and Christmas being tacky and wrong. It's so unbearably smug and, ultimately, there's no reason to believe that the smug people are buying any fewee disposable or unsustainable items throughout the year in general, causing less landfill etc. They generally just mean that their stuff is 'naicer and more tasteful than that of the hoi polloi and enjoy pursing their lips about it.

Raindropsonrosesand Sun 25-Oct-20 07:00:12

I grew up in Scotland, where guising was always a really big thing.

We planned our costumes and practiced our 'party piece' for weeks, then the night was so exciting - out in the dark with a group of friends - it felt like the night was ours. Carrying a turnip lantern on a string (what English people call a swede - much harder to hollow out and carve than a pumpkin, but small and robust enough to carry around). Friendly adults listening to our poems/jokes/magic tricks and giving us sweets in return. Sharing intelligence with other groups of kids about which houses to go to and which to avoid! Always a dark rumour of some grumpy/shouty adult to add a frisson of fear to the night.

I was so disappointed with Halloween when I moved to England! It took me a few disappointing years of eating the snacks myself to figure out the pumpkin/decorations rule. And then the simple 'trick or treat' seemed so hollow. And some of the older kids barely bothered to dress up! I know it's bound to be more fun as a child than as an adult, but having a party piece and earning the sweets is much more satisfying for both sides I think. I've got used to the English way over the years, and doing cool decorations fills the gap a bit, but I still always think it could be so much more!

DD loves it though, so maybe my disappointment with it is partly a transition to adulthood thing. grin

diplodocusinermine Sun 25-Oct-20 07:02:10

Grew up with guising, but it was very low key. Now it's just another cynical retail opportunity that parent's are guilted into participating in. So, it means nothing.

DappledThings Sun 25-Oct-20 07:03:31

Nothing. Never did dressing up or trick-or-treating as a child, never had anyone come round to any of the flats and houses I've lived in for 40 years!

No objection to it but it's just never been something that was on my radar or anyone else's when I was growing up.

ErinTingey Sun 25-Oct-20 07:04:44

Nothing. It wasn't a thing when I was growing up in Wales so its never been on my radar.

FraughtwithGin Sun 25-Oct-20 07:05:14

Absolutely nothing at all.
It is the day before All Saints, but that it about it.
A reminder that I need to go to the graveyard and make sure the grave I tend is neat and tidy.

TobblyBobbly Sun 25-Oct-20 07:05:15

I was born in 1974 in England and I loved trick or treating as a child.

IamTomHanks Sun 25-Oct-20 07:06:06

I grew up in Canada so it's easily one of my favorite occasions. A good week or two of scary movies, stories, local farmers doing up their barns as haunted houses, planning your costumes and trick or treating.

However, when I was growing up in Canada (not sure if it's still the case now), Halloween was also when everyone collected for UNICEF. So when you were trick or treating you were also going around collecting change from peoples houses. So it wasn't just a "give candy to kids thing".

HelloDulling Sun 25-Oct-20 07:07:28

What does it mean? Nothing. Never did anything as a child, and we never had trick or treaters to the door.

The DC like a spooky film, and used to dress up but are too old now. They still do a pumpkin though, and we all enjoy seeing the little kids at the door.

Frdd Sun 25-Oct-20 07:08:48

Bobbing for apples. Carving turnips (swedes). Guising and doing a turn. Monkey nuts given as prizes (hated those houses). And syrupy sodas hung from the roof of the garage and trying to eat them with your hands behind your back. Sparklers.

anon444877 Sun 25-Oct-20 07:12:39

Children love it - the chance to be out at night as a group and collect sweeties - it means a chance to do costumes, face paint, pumpkins, Halloween decorations.

It's a chance to see your neighbours too and do something nice for each other's kids.

I like the cute side of it - I'm not at all keen on the realistic blood/bodies etc.

shebagthehag Sun 25-Oct-20 07:14:08

As a child we celebrated it every year with dressing up and having a party at the local conservative club but only because it was my grandmothers birthday.

I carry on the tradition with my children now so I'm a little sad this year (tier 2)

We're having a party at home just the 3 of us with games and food instead

Frazzled13 Sun 25-Oct-20 07:17:17


Never did it as a child and an really not looking forward to the years when DD will want to dress up, go trick or treating, have a carved pumpkin etc.

Annabanana455 Sun 25-Oct-20 07:18:50


AuntieMarys Sun 25-Oct-20 07:19:29

Absolutely nothing. I'm 60 and remember my dad carving a swede. Never did anything with my dcs.

Frdd Sun 25-Oct-20 07:21:06

By the way. Halloween has been a “thing” in the Celtic nations for hundreds of years.

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