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AIBU to hate Halloween and Bonfire night.

(90 Posts)
Sago Tue 26-Oct-21 19:29:35

Just that really, when our three children were growing up Halloween never really figured.
There was no trick-or-treating in our village and people cert

agnurse Wed 27-Oct-21 02:06:37

I live in Canada so we only have Halloween. We aren't super big OK Halloween, but it's daughter's favourite holiday. We don't really decorate, but last year and this year I have made her some Halloween decorations. (I am a crafter. Last year I made her some stacking boxes and a wall hanging from plastic canvas and yarn. This year I am making a cross-stitched piece for her.) She loves to dress up in "pun" costumes. One year her natural mother took an old shirt, glued some individual serving cereal boxes to it, added some spoons to the boxes, and splattered the lot with white paint - she was a cereal killer. Another year she made a hat out of cardboard, glued some cotton fluff and a cardboard lightning bolt to it, and had various pictures and clippings hanging off it - she was a brain storm. Last year she wore a black shift and then took some plastic piping, covered it with black cloth, and added some glow-in-the-dark balls. She was Morticia Atoms (Addams); the balls on the frame were meant to be electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom. This year she's planning to wear a nice outfit (evening gown or trousers and a blazer) and have a name tag that says "sorry". She's going as a formal apology grin

She's too old for trick-or-treating, but they do have a costume day at school.

Oldwoman70 Wed 27-Oct-21 07:29:56

I'm not keen on Halloween but know children enjoy it. I have recently moved so have no idea if there will be "trick or treat" callers but will have a bowl of sweets ready - just in case.

Zoejory Wed 27-Oct-21 07:36:31

I'm more than happy with how Halloween's evolved. Children happy. Fun times etc etc

Can't stand fireworks though. We have a few dogs, donkeys, horses etc and they're petrified.

Luckily we're a bit away from most activity but some random record will be blown up close by.

Allsorts Wed 27-Oct-21 07:37:08

Didn’t happen in our house. The children however seem to love it, it’s harmless and fun for them. Something from America along with all those different days we are supposed to celebrate, along with the cats birthday.
Now Bonfire night I love, the fireworks the atmosphere, toffee apples etc but it’s always spooked me that figure they put on, reminds me of why we have it and that turns my stomach, as a child I begged my family not to have that figure so much they didn’t.

Iam64 Wed 27-Oct-21 08:26:35


The children love it and it is safer than firework night was. Pubs and clubs have events that will bring in much needed income. Nobody is forced to take part so if its not for you then ignore it and put a notice in your window so that children do not call.

I won’t have a pumpkin, lights will be off so I won’t get trick or treaters. My grandchildren will be dressing up and enjoying a fun raiser Halloween party for a child they know who needs special equipment.
I loved bonfire night but I’m pleased the fires are more likely to be organised so safer now.
I’m lucky, my various dogs over 40 plus years have all taken the noise in their stride

nanna8 Wed 27-Oct-21 08:28:42

I call it Reformation Day. Better than that other rubbish.

Kim19 Wed 27-Oct-21 08:46:16

I don't mind either way. It comes, it goes and happily doesn't affect me at all. If it gives an extra bit of fun to children then that can only be a good thing methinks. Perhaps a bit of extra angst for parents but, what's new about that?!

Sarnia Wed 27-Oct-21 08:52:46

I enjoy both. Halloween has grown enormously since my children were small and with the price of fireworks, the larger family events held at schools and sports clubs have proved very popular. I have my tub of sweets and Monster Munch crisps ready for Sunday evening and my tickets to take my 4 youngest grandchildren to an organised Fireworks night. The youngsters have lost so much with this confounded virus. I can't wait to see them enjoying these days again.

Petera Wed 27-Oct-21 08:54:58


Just that really, when our three children were growing up Halloween never really figured.
There was no trick-or-treating in our village and people cert

I don't enjoy it, but it seems that many do so...

I do occasionally reflect on the change of attitude: when I was young and we went out guising (although I’m also aware that this is a north Britain term) the emphasis was that you did something entertaining to earn your reward.

At some point ‘guising’ changed to ‘trick or treating’ and this seems to have changed to ‘give us stuff or we will do something nasty’. I know this does not reflect the majority of children but I do think there has been a change in social contract of Halloween.

Grandmabatty Wed 27-Oct-21 08:55:53

Halloween isn't an American import in Scotland. Children have gone out 'guising' for a very long time. I did it in the 60s with my brother. The rule was you had to have a party piece of a song or a poem or jokes before you got anything. The 'treat' usually consisted of monkey nuts, an apple and some sweets. Occasionally you were given money. Most houses were happy for you to 'chap' the door. Like many traditions, it has evolved. I was always happy to open the door to children. In my current home, there are very few children around but I have small bags of sweets if any do show. I love watching fireworks but my last dog was terrified so I fully understand why people don't like it.

Grandmabatty Wed 27-Oct-21 08:56:56

Peters cross post! I completely agree about the change in attitude too

Grandmabatty Wed 27-Oct-21 09:07:25

That should have said petera sorry. Typo.

MamaCaz Wed 27-Oct-21 09:29:43

Where I grew up in Yorkshire, we didn't 'do' Halloween - I wasnt really aware of anyone that did until I was in my teens, when I spotted a younger girl out with her father, walking up our avenue in a witch's costume. They were not knocking o doors or asking for anything though.

We did have Mischief night, though on 4th Nov.
It was rather like trick or treating, except that there was no treating involved.

Much of the tricking was reasonably harmless, such as knocking on doors and running away, or hiding people's dustbin lids. However, looking back, some of the older kids did pretty horrendous things, such as putting lit fireworks through people's letterboxes!

I think that the worst my friends and I ever did was creep onto the golf course and rearrange some of the arrows that indicated the direction of the next hole.

I absolutely loved bonfire night, but that was when we built our own bonfires (with a tractor, one year), and could let off our own fireworks once we were about 11 or 12.
It lost all appeal for me when it just became a spectator sport.

I look back on it all now with a mixture of nostalgia and horror!

timetogo2016 Wed 27-Oct-21 09:41:07

It`s an American thing,so i don`t and will never celebrate halloween.
As for fireworks......were supposed to be looking after the planet,not polluting it even more.
And people are supposed to be struggling for money,so why waste it on rubbish.

Luckygirl Wed 27-Oct-21 10:05:01

It does seem to have taken off in a big way since mine were little.

The other day I helped one of my DGSs to carve a face on a pumpkin and the knife slipped and there was an unintentional slit from eye to mouth. He went over to where his Mum was and, in a stage whisper that I was not meant to hear, he said to her "Mum, it's a disaster!" - I am afraid that reduced me to a fit of giggles. We retrieved the situation though by using pen to turn it into a scar, complete with drops of blood - he was content.

annodomini Wed 27-Oct-21 10:12:51

I seem to have to do this every year: Halloween is not an American tradition. It crossed the Atlantic with Scottish (and probably Irish) migrants. When I was a wee girl in Scotland - 70+ years ago), we made our own fun at Halloween. We went round friends' and neighbours' homes and offered to do a turn in exchange for maybe an apple or some sweeties. None of this 'trick or treat' nonsense which is an American addition. We had Halloween parties where we 'dooked' for apples. My mum filled an old zinc bath with water and floated some apples. We knelt on a chair and held a fork our mouth, attempting to spear an apple from above. We made our own 'false faces' (masks) in the art period at school. There were no supermarkets crammed with garish costumes, made in China. We improvised our own. Since there were no pumpkins in the shops in those days, we made lanterns from turnips (swedes) - or more likely the dads did the hard work!

annodomini Wed 27-Oct-21 10:16:11

Sorry, Grandma Batty. I hadn't read your post before I just plunged in. We are in complete agreement!

Petera Wed 27-Oct-21 10:23:04

annodomini We had Halloween parties where we 'dooked' for apples.

...and also hung slices of bread spread with treacle from a washing line which you then tried to eat with your hands behind your back.

(Obligatory educational comment: 'Duiken' is the Dutch word for diving, which is where 'dooking' comes from)

Beswitched Wed 27-Oct-21 10:24:11

I grew up in Ireland where we always had Halloween but no bonfire night. It wasn't as Americanised then as it is now. But I think it's a nice way of cheering up the darkening nights and adding a bit of excitement to half term.

My only problem is the fireworks and bangers going off for weeks beforehand. Absolutely no way should private fireworks displays be allowed any other night than Halloween itself, and even then only up to a certain time, not continuing until 1 or 2 in the morning.

JdotJ Wed 27-Oct-21 11:12:18

Whatever happened to 'Penny for the Guy' in the streets and a Guy on top of the bonfire?
Remember Renember the 5th of November....not any more.
Now it's all Halloween.
Each to their own though. Had my children still been young I expect I would have been swept up in all the commercialism.

Bignanny2 Wed 27-Oct-21 11:17:09

I think the thought of encouraging your children to knock on strangers doors and accept sweets from those people is a dangerous idea. We usually have a party for the grandchildren and their friends, because although we think Halloween is a silly idea, it’s unfair to stop the children enjoying it if all of their class mates are doing. I sound like a party pooper but I don’t like bonfire night fireworks displays either. Even at the organised ones, you hear reports of people getting hurt. I actually got burned at an organised display that I took my own children to years ago . We take a flask of hot chocolate and some treats and drive to a high vantage point near by and watch all the firework displays for miles around from there.

SillyNanny321 Wed 27-Oct-21 11:22:30

Used to have a ceramic pumpkin I put out with a candle in so Kiddies knew they could come to mine. One little girl used to call me Pumpkin Lady & tell her Mum it was ok to knock at mine! Loved it till one year Yobs ruined it all by egging my property & taking my Pumpkin! So last couple of years do not bother! Fireworks worry me because of the stray cat we feed & care for as my indoor cat will not let her in no matter what we try. We have ‘problem’ neighbours with young children. Children are ok just the mother who loves causing trouble. There will be loud fireworks probably all day well into the night as she does nothing by halves! Will be glad when it is all over!

DiscoDancer1975 Wed 27-Oct-21 11:23:14

We’re no....hate Halloween and everything it stands for. Bonfire night we do love.

Children learn all about Guy Fawkes in a fun way. I suppose you could say the fireworks side of things have a potential to be dangerous, and frightening for people who have experienced war perhaps, and of course, animals can suffer too, but done in a responsible way, it should be safe fun for everyone.

Halloween is all about celebrating bad spirits, who most people don’t believe in, but that’s another discussion.

You’re not being unreasonable at all. None of it is obligatory, and to be honest, in my opinion, your grandchildren are much safer not being involved.

Witzend Wed 27-Oct-21 11:25:29

Halloween wasn’t nearly so much of a thing when I was little, but there was the odd party (no tat in the shops then, you had to make everything). I remember ‘ducking’ for apples, though - presumably that word is from the same root as the Dutch one a pp mentioned.
I adored Bonfire Night and still enjoy seeing fireworks - although I do feel sorry for animals, our dog used to be scared but I’d put music on to try to drown out the noise to some extent. Classic FM usually do some specially soothing music on the day - not sure whether it’s on this year but worth checking.

Elder Gdcs adore Halloween - I had all 3 yesterday morning (6, 5, 22 months) while dd had a zoom interview - we went shopping first, and found ‘witches’ fingers’ in the Coop at £1 a pack - white finger extensions with long red talons. Anti-tat though I am, afraid to say I bought some for the two elder, they were delighted and brandishing them all over town.

Of course some woman outside a shop had to tell me she didn’t hold with Halloween - I might think it was all right, but as a true Christian she found it thoroughly wicked.

I said it was just a bit of fun for children, and took them off, but Gdd (6) had picked up what she said and was bothered, perhaps especially since Gdcs go to a lovely C of E primary.

So I had to say that some very extreme Christians didn’t like it, but it was just a bit of fun, and to take no notice.
I just wish the miserable old killjoy bag had mind her own business though!

Patticake123 Wed 27-Oct-21 11:39:22

I’m not a fan of either but it isn’t an American import it’s originally from Ireland. When we were visiting our GC in NY we saw a totally different celebration to the U.K. style, very family orientated with the whole community joining in. We really enjoyed it. We collected the children from school and like all of their classmates they were in fancy dress but not ghosts and ghouls, my GD was Snow White and my GS a pirate. As we walked home through the streets of Brooklyn, shopkeepers had their doors wide open and the children went in, had to say ‘trick or treat?’ and were rewarded with wrapped sweets. By the time we’d reached home, their pumpkin buckets were full. We went inside, quickly emptied the sweets away , then back out to join a carnival led by a brass band and parades through the streets to the park where dancing took place. The children loved it, people were happy and friendly and it changed my opinion of Halloween.