With the scariest date in the Australian calendar on the horizon, research conducted by McCrindle Research in 2011 showed a quarter of Australians (26%) planned to celebrate Halloween last year, with 8% certain that they would. Over half of those (51%) with primary school aged children planned to get spooky last Halloween and 7 in 10 (71%) Australians said we are celebrating Halloween more than we used to.
Despite Halloween’s growing popularity, new research conducted by McCrindle Research in October 2012 showed that it still has a long way to go, with 2 in 5 (41%) seeing it as the “least meaningful” special event day of the year. In fact, just 2% of respondents rated it as the most meaningful to them.
Those in Generation Y (aged 18-31) were far more likely to have celebrated Halloween in the past than Generation X (aged 32-46) and the Baby Boomers (aged 46-65). When asked whether they had ever celebrated Halloween before, 53% of Gen Ys had, compared to 45% of Gen Xs and 40% of Baby Boomers.
An Australian Halloween
The 2011 research showed providing treats for trick or treaters is the most common Halloween activity, with 64% of those celebrating Halloween planning to take part in this activity, rising to 79% among families with primary school aged children. Even those who are anti-Halloween aren’t necessarily going to turn away a trick or treaters. While 64% of Australians weren’t planning on celebrating Halloween, a smaller number said they weren’t planning on giving anything to trick or treaters (46%), showing there are a number who would still give treats out despite their own personal view of Halloween.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of those celebrating Halloween planned to go trick or treating with family or friends, rising to 57% among those with primary school aged children.
And as for the uninvolved…
45% of those who did not intend to celebrate Halloween in 2011 would not do so because they saw it as an American tradition. This was a common belief, with 64% of all respondents selecting America as the origin of the holiday. Still, some did look further back, with nearly 1 in 5 (19%) survey respondents believing Halloween was a Celtic tradition.
“Halloween does have its challenges to becoming mainstream in Australia; firstly because of its American roots, secondly because of it’s dark themes, and thirdly because it involves Children knocking on strangers doors and requesting lollies to consume! However, despite these set-backs, Halloween continues to grow from a commercial perspective.” Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle