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As students age, Halloween traditions celebrated in the past are abandoned, changed

Members+of+CHS+Orchestra+perform+karaoke+during+a+Halloween+party+on+Oct.+28.+The+party+was+planned+by+the+CHS+Orchestra+Council.+
Zoe Tu
Members of CHS Orchestra perform karaoke during a Halloween party on Oct. 28. The party was planned by the CHS Orchestra Council.

Halloween is a holiday manifested in diverse ways throughout this school, celebrated by both teachers and students. With teachers decorating their classrooms with spooky fall themes and students planning out their costumes for the holiday, it is surely a widely celebrated holiday at this school.

Sophomore Grace Nie dresses up as a ghost for the CHS Orchestra Halloween party. (Zoe Tu)

While some students choose to go to parties or trick-or-treat, others prefer to simply cozy up at home with a scary movie and some freshly baked cookies. However, these are not the traditions that students have resorted to all of their life. Halloween traditions have changed and developed as students have grown older. 

Sophomore Vihaan Kottam said Halloween felt more special when he was younger.

“I would spend weeks looking forward to the holiday when I was younger,” Kottam said. “I would spend ages planning out my costume and counting down the days to Halloween. I would get ready hours before, go trick-or-treating before everyone else and stay out after everyone else. By the time I was home, it would be freezing.” 

Junior Sophia Malerbi had similar experiences as a child.

“When I was a kid, after we would trick-or-treat, my friends and I would dump out all of our candy and trade our candy,” Malerbi said. “That part hasn’t changed; my friends and I still dump out our candy and trade it and will continue to do so. That’s probably my favorite bit because you can do it with anyone, but it’s more fun getting candy and knowing that you have a friend that would trade anything for it.”

As Kottam and Malerbi have grown older, they said they have found themselves abandoning the traditions of their childhood in favor of more thrilling events such as Halloween parties. 

Junior Sophia Malerbi pours juice in a cup at a Halloween party. Malerbi said she has gone to parties in recent years, shifting from childhood traditions like pumpkin carving. (Zoe Tu)

“The older I get, the more I find myself abandoning things I used to do, like pumpkin carving, for going to Halloween parties,” Malerbi said. “This year, I already celebrated (Halloween) a few weeks ago with my choir, Accents, but I am also having a party with a few friends the weekend before Halloween.”

Kottam relates to this experience and said he started to give less importance to his childhood activities for Halloween. 

“The excitement of Halloween has just faded away, I think. This year, I am only trick-or-treating for a bit, if at all,” Kottam said. “I am going to a party on the Sunday before (Halloween) with my girlfriend.” 

However, some teachers, such as French II teacher Miranda Rios, said they still prefer to keep the tradition of Halloween alive at this school by decorating their classrooms to fit the holiday and making their classrooms alive with spooky-themed activities. 

“I try to give my room a bit of a spooky ambiance the day of,” Rios said. “We turn the lights off, play some music and some games. Last year, we watched the French version of Coraline.”

Rios said she loves to share the spooky spirit of Halloween through creepy stories as well. 

“I have a spooky story I tell kids every year on Halloween about an unexplainable experience I had while working in France,” Rios said. “It’s fun to be able to share my own spooky tale.” 

Additionally, Rios said she has always loved trick-or-treating and will take any opportunity to still go. 

“I have always and will always love Halloween. The only thing that’s changed is that I have to give out the candy now instead of getting it,” Rios said. “But, it’s still very fun to be the adult that takes my younger brothers trick-or-treating though.” 

On the contrary, senior Sadie Penix chooses to keep Halloween as a quiet and cozy holiday. She said she has always loved it toned down and more comfortable. 

Caitlin Follman

“I wasn’t a major fan of trick-or-treating as a kid, but I would still go out for a bit, just to get a bit of candy. After trick-or-treating just for a bit, I would come home and cuddle up in front of the TV and watch some scary movies while munching on candy,” Penix said. “This hasn’t changed by too much as I’ve grown older. I stopped trick-or-treating, but my boyfriend and I watch cheesy romance movies together and I love it.” 

Penix also said she has observed the difference in attitude toward Halloween between underclassmen and upperclassmen.

“What I’ve noticed is that a lot of freshmen still love to trick-or-treat and will still go out for a long time,” Penix said. “But juniors and seniors tend to go to parties over things they used to do as a child. I think I only know a few (students) my age who still trick-or-treat.”

Ultimately, Kottam said, “What I do for Halloween now is just a lot different from what I used to do as a kid. I would definitely say that my traditions have changed in regard to Halloween.”

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