Every year, when Halloween comes around, we hear people saying that the old art of trick-or-treating is dying out. However, new research shows that trick-or-treating is alive and well in Northern Ireland, as the region sees a nearly 10% spike in foot traffic on 31 October.
Using Google Foot Traffic data, new research shows that the UK overall gets a 7% spike in foot traffic on 31 October.
While Wales takes the lead with the biggest spike of 10.80% in foot traffic, Northern Ireland is close behind with a 9.72% spike.
When it comes to the age-old question, is trick or treating dead? Well, research by sugary sleuths Picky Mixers shows that the nearly 100-year-old practice is alive and well in some regions, including NI.
Trick-or-treating is alive and well in Northern Ireland – the tradition lives on
Trick-or-treating has been a Halloween tradition in Ireland and the UK for centuries. In recent years, people believe that the popularity of trick-or-treating has been dying out, exacerbated by the no-contact rules of COVID-19.
However, research from Pick n’ Mix sweet shop Picky Mixers shows that trick-or-treating’s supposed ‘death’ has been greatly exaggerated.
Foot traffic data shows that the UK sees a spike on 31 October. In Northern Ireland, the region sees a 9.72% spike in foot traffic on Halloween day and night.
In particular, Ards and North Down, Derry and Strabane, and Lisburn and Castlereagh see the highest spikes in foot traffic in Northern Ireland at 11% per region.
So, if you’re worried about heading out trick-or-treating with the kids, fear not! There WILL be kids out celebrating around the country.
The origins of trick-or-treating – centuries-old roots
Trick-or-treating got its current name back in the 1930s, but the practice actually has roots as far back as the 16th century.
With roots in Ireland and Scotland, a tradition known as ‘guising’ would see people going house to house around Halloween time and putting on small performances for rewards, mainly food or treats.
Halloween itself finds its origins in Ireland, with a pagan celebration known as Samhain. The Celtic festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the annual harvest and the beginning of winter.
As for the rest of the UK, it was customary in England in the 16th century for those who were poor to go begging on a day known as All Souls’ Day. Years later, children took on this tradition. Singing trick-or-treat songs and dressing up for Halloween eventually came along with it.
Where trick-or-treating is most popular in the UK – Cardiff, Wales
Cardiff comes out on top as the region with the biggest rise in foot traffic on 31 October at a huge 16%.
Edinburgh comes in second place with 12%, while the Ards and North Down, Derry and Strabane, and Lisburn and Castlereagh areas are joint third with 11% each.
Tom Chivers, Founder at Picky Mixers, said, “Our research has proven that once and for all – trick or treat is NOT dead!
“Contrary to what some people think, trick or treating in the UK isn’t just about dressing up and collecting sweets… though that’s undeniably a highlight”.
So, while a few grumpy neighbours might wish the tradition to end, rest assured that the practice is alive and well for your kids to enjoy today. You can read the full research and data here.