Why Students Don't Celebrate Halloween
Halloween is full of trick-or-treating, smelly feet, and good-to-eat candies.
This holiday dates back to Celtic traditions when people first began dressing up in costumes and going door-to-door to strangers’ houses and remains ever-popular in Western culture every year when October rolls around.
According to Statistica, in 2018, 69.5 percent of Americans will be participating in Halloween. The holiday is more popular in the U.S. than both New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. In fact, Americans typically dish out around $10 billion on Halloween each year– that’s $80 per consumer.
How popular is Halloween amongst the King’s community?
Deborah Gonsalvez, a freshman at King’s, has never participated in Halloween.
“I was born in Brazil and moved to America when I was young. Growing up, I didn’t do a lot of the traditional ‘American kid things.’ Halloween only recently made its way to Brazil; it wasn’t something my parents grew up with. Moving here was our first exposure to Halloween,” Gonsalvez said.
When Deborah was a kid, she came home to find her house had been egged one Halloween.
“That was the day I decided I didn’t like the holiday.”
To this day, her and her family still don't celebrate Halloween.
“My parents and I still don’t understand the holiday very well, so we just treat it like another day.”
Isaac Coston, a King’s junior, is excited to be celebrating Halloween this year.
“My favorite thing about the holiday is the opportunity to hang out with people and dressing up; the best costume I’ve worn was my Halo costume I built out of cardboard, duct tape, and spray paint. I also love eating Crunch bars.”
For Isaac, Halloween has always been about the free food.
“When I was young I would trick-or-treat hard core– I’d go to the same houses twice and take three pieces out of buckets that said ‘Take Two’. This year I’m going to get dressed up so I can get some free food from Chipotle.”
Anastassia Gliadkovskaya, a senior at King’s, didn’t celebrate Halloween as a child because of her father’s beliefs.
“Every couple of years, there are some horrific stories about children and women being murdered by some psychopaths on Halloween. My dad, who is extremely religious, always took this as a sign that the devil was at work on Halloween night. As a result, I was never allowed to so much as dress up for the holiday, much less go trick-or-treating or even open the door to strangers,” Gliadkovskaya said.
Her and her family would always spend Halloween hiding in her house while her neighbors trick-or-treated around the neighborhood.
“I always felt like I was missing out, but my dad never denied me candy or playing dress up -- as long as I wasn’t a witch or some other mythical creature.”
To this day she said she doesn’t celebrate because she has never been in the habit.
“This year I plan to go to a party on October 30th and I am going to be a lamb and eat a lot of candy; my favorites include Kit-Kats, Reese's, and fruity candy. Then, on Halloween night, I am going to have a movie night and watch something scary,” said Annie Kopack.
Kopack, a junior at King’s, loves to celebrate Halloween.
“One of my favorite memories is dressing up like Kim Possible– I went all out and spray painted my hair. My favorite tradition was holding a block party where we would take photos, BBQ, and then go trick-or-treating.”
Zach Wagner, a King’s junior, doesn't celebrate Halloween out of “pure laziness.”
“Who wants to buy a costume and be James Bond every single year? In all seriousness though, when I see people celebrating Halloween there always seems to be a fixation on death and cults. In the book of Deuteronomy, witches were executed. I used to celebrate when I was young, but now I just treat it like a normal day; sometimes I’ll have friends over for a movie night,” Wagner said.
Sixty-five percent of students at The King’s College voted they're celebrating Halloween this year, according to a poll done by the Empire State Tribune on Twitter. Thirty-five percent said they will not be celebrating.
"Some people are born for Halloween, and some are just counting the days until Christmas,” Stephan Graham Jones said.