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Lifestyle
5 min read

Halloween - Trick Or Treat

There’s no getting away from the fact that Halloween is becoming more and more popular here in the UK and consumer spending on Halloween themed items have quadrupled over the last decade. Once the warmer weather begins to fade and we begin to anticipate the end of the year and the celebration of Christmas, there is one more celebration that dominates most stores and that is Halloween.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
October 31, 2023

There’s no getting away from the fact that Halloween is becoming more and more popular here in the UK and consumer spending on Halloween themed items have quadrupled over the last decade. Once the warmer weather begins to fade and we begin to anticipate the end of the year and the celebration of Christmas, there is one more celebration that dominates most stores and that is Halloween.

Of course, the long held tradition of Bonfire Night (which is in between the two) is still observed by many but in my opinion, is beginning to wane. When I was a little girl, which actually wasn’t too long ago, most communities would have a huge bonfire which would have had sticks and logs added to it over the weeks preceding the event. ‘Guy Fawkes’ who was a cleverly made scarecrow type fellow made of straw and old clothes would be wheel-barrowed to the fire then thrown in. Fireworks would be set off while everyone ate ‘bonfire night toffee’ which almost took any fillings out but was nonetheless delicious. Anyway, enough reminiscing and digression…!

The origins of Halloween, which is celebrated on October 31st, has its origins in ancient Celtic and Christian traditions. The Celts believed that on this night, the veil between the world of both the living and the dearly departed was at its thinnest thus allowing spirits to roam among us. In order to appease these spirits, people lit fires and wore costumes to ward off any less than pleasant spirits.

Many centuries ago, November 1st (then changed to 2nd) was designated as All Saints Day by the Church and so the evening before became known as All Hallows Eve.Halloween then continued to evolve in North America by the Scottish and Irish immigrants who arrived there. Traditions of turnip carving (later becoming pumpkin carving), dressing up, witches and black cats and trick or treating became the symbols for Halloween.

It wasn’t until the late 20th century that Halloween popularity began to grow here in the UK. Heavily influenced by the Americans, Halloween is now a prominent and hugely anticipated event which looks as though it is here to stay.

Many people view Halloween as innocent fun and get prepared for children in costume to knock at their door for sweets as they eagerly proclaim ‘trick or treat’! However, not everyone views the day as innocent with many churches organising an alternative Light Party which focuses on themes of light and good and of course, there are those who choose not to recognise Halloween at all and may be concerned about its potentially darker theme.

In the workplace, celebrating Halloween can be a way of engaging employees and boosting morale for the day but it is important to do so in a manner which is sensitive to the diverse backgrounds, preferences and beliefs of the workforce.

Clear and preferably written communication should be given regarding any Halloween celebrations in the workplace which will set out very concise guidelines for acceptable costumes, decorations and behaviour. Anything that is planned should be lighthearted and innocent. Participation should be voluntary with no one feeling any pressure to become involved in any activities if they feel uncomfortable doing so. Halloween is not a universally celebrated occasion and some employees may be sensitive due to cultural, religious or personal reasons. They should be respected for their choices and alternatives provided for those who do not wish to participate. Anything that could be deemed offensive should never be tolerated and employees' views should be listened to and discussed in depth.

Halloween can be anything that you want it to be - perhaps for treating staff with small gestures throughout the day (no tricks though). Whatever your beliefs are, by creating an environment of respect and enjoyment for all, it can be a great time for team building and reinforcing the elements of inclusivity and appreciation within the company.

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