A historical understanding of Halloween is that of the celebration Sahmain, a memorable tradition marked with glee by the ancient Celtic regions. This day, antecedent to the new year of November 1st, is one of transition, marking the end of harvest season and welcoming of the winter months. It is also a day with strong tithes to death and divine intervention, where the veil separating the natural and spiritual worlds weakens as it marks the pivotal moment lost souls of the previous year travel into the other world.

This historical gauge at Halloween vastly differed from my personal understanding of the traditional context of October 31st, the masked balls of gossip girl and the densely populated parties of mean girls were where my understanding of October festivities formulated. Embodying the characters of Serena Vanderwoodsen and Regina George was an ambition of mine, to truly possess the ability to enjoy a setting of themed decorations, a boozy background filled with costumes of lingerie, ears and masks under the auditory hypnotics of music and cheer.

Without my research I would not have reached a point of understanding to halloween further than its glossier presentations in film, advertisements and literature. This then created an interest in asking my peers on if Halloween tradition had truly been lost translation under a glare of media portrayals.

I first asked my interviewees what they had dressed as, receiving responses such as Aisha from Winx Club, Vincent Vaughn, a fairy and a cowboy. 

I then present the question of, if alike to me, they’d felt their presumptions of halloween had been influenced by the media?

“Yes, i think the coming-of-age genre particularly generally depicts celebrations differently due it being associated with the peak of life and change. I think my own ideas of it is definitely influenced by social peer groups too and how they may social media to show how they celebrate.” 

“Yeah, influenced by the US media mainly”.

“Yes, it’s been very commercialised in the past decade.”

I finally asked if Halloween was ritualistic in the context of how it’s enjoyed within the UK?

“Halloween isn't really ritualistic it's mostly for fun and is all about capitalism”.

“I think it's a western holiday in terms of trick or treating etc, which has removed it from its strong ritualistic roots. In the UK it's celebrated as a wear a costume and go crazy holiday for teens and young adults.”

“Not very ritualistically celebrated, more capitalistic in feel, but also in recent years, more family friendly and wholesome like something such as easter because of stuff like children trick or treating. ‘Overall, yeah quite detached from any religious, spiritual, or ritualistic stuff.”

“It’s very different compared to the festival it was based on because of religion in the past (christian's) and capitalism more recently.”

I didn’t initially consider the role of capitalism, being a recurring theme in my responses. However, I could understand its prevalent role, with a predicted estimate of 1 billion pounds being spent in 2023 on Halloween in the UK, having an ever increasing proximate link between currency and festivity. As I enjoyed this interviewing process, I also understood the importance in familiarity to the origins of these events, as it’s a great gauge of human understanding.