Halloween: How old is too old to celebrate?

When the hits mid October, we all know what that means. It’s that time of year where candy sales are displayed prominently in many grocery and department stores, kids start scrambling to buy the coolest costumes and scary decorations transform houses into  Halloweentown itself.

Halloween has origins that date all the way back to the ancient festival of Samhain. The Celts, who lived around 2,0000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, United Kingdom and Northern France, would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off any roaming ghosts. I think it’s safe to say that Halloween has certainly strayed away from it’s original purpose.

Kind of like a game of telephone, where a person whispers a word into your ear and by the time the word gets passed down towards the end of the line it’s completely different from what you originally heard, Halloween is just like that. Through so many generations of people, they switched from interpreting Halloween as a religious day to ward off evil spirits to a spooky holiday with friends and fun.

Whether you choose to celebrate or not, Halloween is an international holiday celebrated on October 31. Halloween activities can include trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, telling scary stories around a bonfire, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions and watching horror films. However, the question isn’t whether Halloween is a popular holiday, but how old is too old to celebrate Halloween?

In 2015, an online poll from Today ll asked their readers: At what age should kids stop trick-or-treating? 32% voted never, 15% voted age 13 and 14% voted age 12.

Although the poll was taken from the consensus of a specific website, the results seem to be true for WJ students as well.

“You’re never too old to celebrate Halloween. Ever. I’ll be celebrating Halloween even after I’m dead,” junior Kathia Gana said.

Senior Zoe Bournas agrees with this as well, seeing no problem with dressing up or trick-or-treating.

“I think [it’s great] if you’re dressed up all the way [to] go trick-or-treating,” Bournas said.

They speak the truth. If Halloween is too “childish” to dress up for then why is it totally common for adults in big cities, like New York City, to roam around in costumes at any given hour in the time period leading up to the spooky holiday? Why is it that many people from all over the world come together to put up all kinds of attractions like New York City hosts an annual Village Halloween Parade, Boston organizes many Salem Witches’ Halloween balls and London’s popular spooky dungeon? Why is it strange to dress up for Halloween when it’s expected to dress up in silly costumes for spirit week? What’s the difference? Halloween is a day to show your spirit as you would for any particular spirit day in school or showing spirit for your sports teams.

Sure, I feel a little strange to go trick-or-treating now that I’m a junior in high school but if I was given the chance to do it, I would take it in a heartbeat. I mean, who doesn’t miss dressing up in costume and going door to door getting free candy? Who doesn’t miss waking up the next day knowing you have a huge stash of candy just waiting for you? So, if a 17-year-old were to show up at my door Halloween night asking for candy I wouldn’t turn them away. I’d have complete respect, props to them for doing what I’m too afraid to do alone.

Point is, spend this day however you choose and don’t be afraid about what other people think. Whether you’re going trick-or-treating with friends or sitting around doing nothing make sure to have fun and respect other people’s choices on how they spend this holiday, even if it’s different for yours. Happy Halloween!

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