Halloween | UK vs USA

31 October 2013

Happy Halloween everyone! 
Today marks my first major holiday outside the USA!
Halloween and Christmas are my favorite holidays. I can't pick which one I like best. They're both amazing. However, Halloween seemed to sneak up on me this year. 
The reason? 
Halloween traditions in the UK are completely different from US traditions! 
So I decided to sit down and write a post dedicated to the differences between a UK and a USA Halloween. 

USA: Every house is decorated with pumpkins and spider webs. One of the best parts of Halloween is seeing the decorations anywhere and everywhere. It's easy to get into the spirit when you are surrounded by Halloween themes. 

UK: I think one of the major reasons Halloween has snuck up on me is the fact that nobody really decorates. There are no pumpkins, no spider webs, no indication of Halloween at all. In fact, I'm more likely to see Christmas decorations while out and about. Without Thanksgiving to buffer the two holidays, Christmas seems to almost overpower the Halloween spirit. 

Trick or Treating
USA: Trick or Treating is the best part of Halloween. When you are little, your parents drive you to the best neighborhoods so you can get the best candy. However, I have seen a serious decline in Trick or Treating in the US within the past 5 years (sad face).

UK: After talking with some of my new English friends, I have learned Trick or Treating is a hit or miss. Some had Trick or Treated every year, while others had never participated. However, the same idea applies.

USA: Halloween is a night where you can dress up as anyone. This can range from a Disney princess Katniss Everdeen. Costumes aren't usually creepy, it's just a reason to dress up. For example, last year my roommates and I dressed up as the four seasons. That's about the farthest thing from creepy that you can get. In the US, there is also THE girl rule: "Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it". Need I say more?

UK: People tend to stick to a creepy Halloween theme. This means I can't show up to a Halloween party dressed up as Daisy Buchanan. People would stare. Most girls in the UK stick to witches or vampires. Often, you don't even need to be anything in particular. You can wear all black and just accessorize with spiders or other creepy things. The darker, the better. Personally, I think there's something to this. A typical UK Halloween costume captures the true spirit of Halloween better than a US costume.

As much as I miss the overall spirit of a USA Halloween, a UK Halloween can be just as fun!
Now, I'm off to make my costume a little less cute and a little more scary!

Let me know if you see any other differences in Halloween across the world!


  1. Halloween has always been my favourite holiday, but def since moving to the UK I find it harder to get into the spirit because no one else really seems to care! I do make everyone come around to carve pumpkins and try to get people to dress up and go out though, it's a bit like pulling teeth!

    1. Haha, getting everyone to dress up tonight and go out was such a task! I might be the only one dressed up in the end. Lol

  2. I was just having this conversation with my boyfriend last night because we have a lot of American expat pals here in Germany and they are going nuts for Halloween whereas we are just like eh... take it or leave it!
    You nailed the UK's Halloween traditions... there aren't any :P

    Kate | Diaries of a Essex Girl

  3. Great! Unfortunately in the Netherlands we don't do a lot with Halloween. :( X Anna


  4. Reminds me of when I studied abroad in France! I threw a costume party and invited all my French friends as well as some other international students. Only the other Americans dressed in costumes. My French friends didn't even try, they just came in normal clothes!


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