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Happy Halloween. Mind your spooky manners.
Happy Halloween. Mind your spooky manners.

By Dana Gornitzki

We’re just one day away from Hallows Eve, the night before the Day of the Dead.

Halloween is a Celtic tradition dating back 2500 years. Increasingly celebrated far and wide, Halloween has fast become an annual secular celebration on October 31st.

Children dress up in spooky costumes in search of treats, pumpkins get carved, revelers gather around bonfires, pranks are expected - and adults are joining in on the fun as well. Like any day of celebration, Halloween has a few social graces to remember.

Once again, the etiquette gurus at Debretts have come up with a few Halloween manners to remember:

- “Trick or treat?” should be used as an ice-breaking formula, not a real threat. Halloween fun should never feel menacing.

- Children should not be too greedy - if they are offered treats, make sure that they don’t take too many and remember to say thank you.

- Stay safe. Make absolutely sure that children don’t stray beyond agreed boundaries and wander into streets where they are knocking on strangers’ doors.

- Remember, some households may not be as welcoming as others. If there’s no answer, don’t repeatedly ring the doorbell - move onto another house instead.

- If you don’t mind giving out treats, but would prefer not to have visitors, leave some sweets or chocolate on your front door step and let trick or treaters help themselves.

Now, a few of our own etiquette tips for the more grown-up Halloween merrymakers:

- Share your candy, especially with children.

- If you are handing out candy, don’t be smug with the “older” children. They’re just trying to have fun, and the more the merrier.

- As children should stay safe, so should adults. Although it is customary to play pranks, don’t go overboard.

- Brush your teeth, and remind those mini trick-or-treaters to do the same.

Have fun and Happy Halloween!

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