Brits and trick or treating

rhubarb yogurt

Does this belong in a trick or treat bag to you?

I have this general, possibly misguided, theory that trick or treating is not that big in the U.K. Part of this is based on the fact that I never went trick or treating when I lived in Scotland or London, and never knew anyone who did. Guy Fawkes Night was much more of the thing to do. Granted, that was over a decade ago. Times may have changed. Halloween may have arrived in a bigger way in the U.K. since I’ve moved back to the U.S. Has it?

My husband has an American colleague who moved to London with her family this summer when her husband landed a job there. She commented on how big Halloween was this year, how many kids trick or treated at their house. And then, in nearly the same breath, commented on the amazing items that her kids brought back from their trick or treating adventure in London, which included unwrapped M&Ms and other small, loose, unwrapped, man-handled candies, loose home baked cookies and even a pot of rhubarb yogurt.

Okay, Londoners. Is this weird or the norm? Is this an accurate picture of Halloween, circa 2013, in London? Enlighten us, please!


Posted on 4, November 2013, in Culture and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. As a child in the 1980’s I never once went trick or treating nor did anyone I knew. Thats changed due in no small part to US kids TV and shops seeing that money can be made. Yogurt is a new one however.

    Kill joy I may be but I wish it stayed stateside. We are only a stones throw away from celebrating Thanksgiving

    • SudoOne, just be thankful that Brits haven’t yet embraced Trunk or Treat, a terribly American thing that I’m hearing more about these days where kids literally go from the boot of strangers’ cars to get their candy (supposedly safer than going from house to house, although I can’t imagine how).

  2. The pot of yogurt is really funny!
    I am out of date also, but I know that when we lived in London, Halloween was an excuse for teenagers to misbehave and egg passing cars, rather than a family-friendly activity.
    My parents live in Cambridge and trick or treating is not common there, either. However, last year, a neighbour asked if her kids to call at my Mum’s. The catch was, there were so many food allergies, the neighbour supplied the ‘treats’ in advance. That whole arrangement struck me as very bizarre.

    • That IS strange, Pauline! I can’t recall having even one person knock on our door for trick or treating for the time that we were living in the U.K. I can’t even visualize big packages of individually wrapped candies sold there like they do here in the U.S. (which might account for the loose Smarties and such that were given out this year).

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