What is Halloween & Trick Or Treating?

Posted On: September 29, 2015

Faces painted on pumpkins

Mid September is not too early to get ready for Halloween. Stores in upstate New York already are well stocked with an overabundance costumes, candy and decorations in anticipation for the holiday.

So, what is Halloween? Rather than focusing on the background of Halloween or the reason for the season, let’s focus on how a majority of people in the US may celebrate Halloween.

How is Halloween celebrated by children?
Children in most schools in the US look forward to going to school in their costumes (known as “fancy dress” in India), attending parades, decorating their classrooms and getting a lot of candy at school. The amount of candy varies from school to school. In modern times, some schools trade candy for healthy options like fruit.

Let’s take a look at what a Halloween parade looks like for some elementary school children in the US. (See a video on YouTube)

What is trick or treating?
In addition to wearing their costumes to school, many children may participate in trick or treating. In this activity, children in groups along with a parent go from door to door to collect candy. To trick or treat, a child would approach the door of a neighbor, knock on the door, and when the neighbor opens the door, the child would say, “Trick or treat.” In most cases, the adult says’ treat’ and hands treats like candy to the child. If the adult says “trick,” the child should play a prank. To understand trick or treating better, take a look at this interesting video made by people in Britain who want to start the trick or treating tradition in the U.K. 

If you are confused about how your children can safely trick or treat, talk with other parents, your child‘s teachers or other people who work at the school.  

Another hot topic many parents, teachers and colleagues may discuss in regards to trick or treating is safety for children as trick or treating is during the dusk and early evening hours, as in this clip.

In adddition to dressing up in costumes and trick or treating, children may also get a chance to go to corn mazes, take hay rides, carve pumpkins and visit haunted houses, like the one in this video.

Do people celebrate Halloween at work in the U.S.?
Halloween celebrations in offices in the U.S. may not be so common as in schools. It depends on the office, team, and HR policy. If your office celebrates Halloween, they could encourage you to come to work dressed in a costume, hold a small party during the day and eat a lot of candy, or other related activities. It’s ok to ask your colleagues about the dress code and types of acceptable or avoidable costumes to wear to work. Some work groups may hold Halloween parties after work or on weekends before or after Halloween.

Can I make small talk about Halloween?
Sure you can! Read more here.  

How do you or your child celebrate Halloween? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below. 

Jennifer Kumar helps prepare your Indian offshore teams for onsite success through a variety of cross-cultural training programs. For more information, contact us today. 

Related Posts: 
Halloween, a holiday of self-discovery 
Words related to Halloween – Vocabulary Building in American English  
Friday the 13th – Americans are Superstitious



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