Trick or treating: Why just for kids?

trick or treating

They have all the fun.

With only a week until Halloween, I thought it’d be a good idea to talk about the most recognisable Halloween hallmark – trick or treating. It’s been widely ingrained in popular culture for such a long time, but in the UK, it’s only ever associated with children.

In America, though it’s usually children who go trick or treating, teenagers and young adults have been known to do it as well, at least from what I’ve been told. In Britain, however, it’s only kids under 13 who go trick or treating for some reason. Also, in America, you could dress up as anything as long as it was an actual tangible costume, whereas in Britain, we’re stuck with all the Halloween clichés burrowed from various medieval superstitions.

As a kid, I was always despondent over the fact that the way we did things in Britain was so radically different to America. In Britain, Halloween as a commercial holiday isn’t taken as seriously as it is in America.

I always wondered, why is it only kids that do it? It sounds like a petty question, but for me, this part of something else. As we grow older, we lose a lot of the fun things in life because we’re told to grow out of them. Why? Especially since, when I turned thirteen, I spent my Halloween nights in the house (which would turn very dark on that night), probably unaware or uninterested in the various Halloween parties.

Britain is obviously a very different nation to America, given that it’s smaller and not as wealthy. But slowly, British is morphing into something more like America. If that’s the case, why not make Halloween more involving for teenagers? If that’s ever going to happen, then we should answer the question of “why is Halloween oriented to kids?”.

I think it’s more to do with the culture of “growing up”, where we’re supposed to abandon everything that made us happy in our childhood. Maybe if our attitudes about this were loosened a little, maybe this would change.


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