It’s been said time and time again: the previous generation always tells the younger ones they are living their lives wrong, and that they need to change.Obviously, we’re human. We will grow and change as people as time goes by. But we don’t need to give up on the fun of life just because we’re growing up. With Halloween right around the corner, this is the perfect time to be reminded of it.
Halloween is one of few holidays with a distinct divide between children and adults. If you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, no matter your age, your friends and family will most likely get you gifts, and you’ll do the same for them. On Thanksgiving, it’s customary to have a big dinner with those closest to you, no matter how old you are. July 4 brings barbecued food and fireworks, and New Year’s Eve means staying up until midnight. Halloween’s main celebration of trick-or-treating in costume is something we, as a society, only expect of children.
Furthermore, Halloween is all about dressing up as something scary, and growing older opens up the door for more fun costumes in many ways. Whereas children’s Halloween costumes are often safer, adult Halloween costumes can be more revealing, which can be fun. Or, if that’s not your speed, there’s much more scary costumes for adults to wear on Halloween. For adults who want to participate but don’t want to leave their house, they could dress up to hand out candy, or even stand in the yard and scare the trick or treaters as they approach. No matter your age, a costume is a great way to celebrate the holiday and get into an autumnal mood.
Another important factor is one we’ve heard far too much about — the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the last few years, most of us have missed out on a few Halloweens. For some younger teenagers, it may feel like they missed out on their last chance to trick-or-treat, and they’ll be unsure about going back out this year to do what they couldn’t. They should not be afraid. Trick-or-treating should be more than a way for kids to get free candy. It should be a community activity, a way for us all to get back in touch with each other in the modern day.
As time has gone by, some cultures and groups have gained more popularity in the U.S., and some of these cultures are perfectly made for Halloween. A great example of this is cosplay, which is dressing up as a character from a movie or show you enjoy, while attempting to be as accurate as possible in your recreation. Many cosplayers will use Halloween as an excuse to dress up in costume in public. Additionally, drag culture has gone mainstream recently as well, and just like cosplayers, some drag artists take Halloween as a time to go out in character.
As stated before, previous generations are often highly critical of the newer generation. We would be hard-pressed not to admit that. But Generation Z is reaching early adulthood now, and much research is being done to determine what their future will be like. Regardless of what happens next culturally or generationally, it’s clear that younger generations have a focus and desire to enjoy what they did in childhood more unashamedly than those before them. After all, McDonald’s recently created adult Happy Meals as a promotional concept.
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