Camila De Le Cruz
Imagine if someone said you were too old to receive presents for Christmas. The thought that something you have enjoyed for so many years is now considered something of the past is devastating. However, there have been many discussions on whether trick-or-treating should be limited to young children.
I, like many, enjoy Halloween. The idea of dressing up and going door to door to yell “Trick-or-treat” and then eating waaaaaay too many sweets obviously stimulates the minds of children. However, for some reason many adults, especially in Australia, are now saying that there should be an age limit for Halloween. That the final day of October is just another normal day unless you’re two feet tall and still need assistance going to the potty.
When I was younger trick-or-treating was a must. I lived in an apartment, and there were many young children who went to the local primary school. We would spend the entire month deciding what to dress up as, and then knocking on the door of over 100 units for candy on Halloween. Unfortunately, this only lasted a few years. As we moved on to high school, the annual Halloween event was cancelled.
The reason? We somehow simply just grew out of it. Most children stop trick-or-treating between the ages of 12 and 17. There have even been attempts to stop teenagers from trick-or-treating, as seen in Chesapeake, Virginia USA, where a person over the age of 12 can be placed in jail for six months if they are trick-or-treating. That said, the city mayor and lawmakers say that the law isn’t being enforced and is only in place if significant trouble was caused on Halloween night.
Nevertheless, the strange law received much attention in the media, opening Pandora’s box on whether we should ban teenagers from trick-or-treating. Some argued that certain costumes may scare young children, or that some teenagers may act hostile towards younger children. Many on social media say they refuse to give out candy to teens for lack of manners and choose to instead prioritise younger children.
I’ve known lots of people (particularly in Australia) who never went out trick-or-treating, or haven’t even dressed up for Halloween. They say trick-or-treating is a “stupid” tradition or that it’s more of an American tradition since Halloween isn’t a big deal in Australia. You could probably spot more Christmas products instead of Halloween, even in October, in Australian retail stores. Unlike America and other parts of the world, trick-or-treating isn’t as common, and children stop trick-or-treating sooner. Americans take the tradition more seriously, more people DIY their costumes instead of buying them, and more adults take part.
It is definitely harder as a teenager in Australia to get candy on Halloween. It might feel like all your costume preparation was for nothing. But in the end, as long as you don’t cause much havoc on the streets, and are respectful towards the people who give out candy, then maybe you could get away with being “too old” for Halloween, even in Chesapeake or Australia.