October 26, 2011 10:01 ET

Austerity Fails to Scare Off Halloween Spirits

UK Families Will Spend More Than GBP 100 on Ghoulish Parties This Year for Their Kids

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Oct. 26, 2011) - As the second most popular family occasion behind Christmas, a survey of 2000 parents by Woolworths.co.uk shows that when it comes to austerity Halloween events are bucking the trend, with more than £100 on average spent on parties.

The average family usually spends £73 on food, decorations and other party items on each party they throw but are happy to go all out on Halloween, spending an extra £42 on ghoulish items such as sweets for Trick or Treaters, Kids Halloween costumes, accessories and party decorations. What's more 38 percent of families will celebrate the spooky season by throwing a party this year.

The rise in the popularity of Halloween is reflected in the colossal growth of the UK Halloween industry, which has grown 2300% since 2001 and is now worth a massive £280m*.

It's expected that 64 percent of children will take to the streets around October 31st for an evening of Trick or Treating with a potential 24,900,000 doors being knocked on. Over half (51 per cent) of parents will join in the fun this Halloween and accompany their kids as they walk their neighborhoods dressed in the Halloween costumes of ghouls, ghosts and wizards!

In the survey, which looked at the party habits of British families, Halloween came in ahead of other traditional family occasions including Easter, Eurovision, Bonfire night and even beat childrens' birthday parties. Christmas remains the number one family occasion with 62 per cent of families saying they will be celebrating with a party this year.

The survey also revealed that on average each parent will attend four parties this year and will consume 1231 calories from traditional foods including toffee apples, sweets and pumpkin pies. Luckily the average parent will also dance for 57 minutes at each party they attend and will burn 352 calories.

Interesting Halloween facts

Top searched Halloween costumes in 2010** were Disney Characters, Lady Gaga and pirates.

This year Woolworths.co.uk predicts Superheroes costumes to be the most popular costume choice following the Blockbuster successes of Green Lantern, Captain America and X Men: First Class. Batman costumes are predicted to be particularly popular with people looking forward to the new film 'Dark Knight Rises'.

Vampire Costumes will also be in demand coinciding with the hype of the next Twilight film "Breaking Dawn" which is released 8th November.

Woolworths.co.uk is taking Halloween very seriously and have introduced compulsory Halloween training for all staff to develop product knowledge of latest goods to celebrate the event.

The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day.

About 99 per cent of pumpkins sold are used as Jack O' Lantern at Halloween after the trend originated in Ireland.

The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls' Day (November 2).

To celebrate Halloween 2011 Woolworths.co.uk has introduced The Wooolies; a family of spooky characters obsessed with Halloween who will share everything from terrifying tips to spooky step-by-step video seminars about how to perfect frighteningly good fancy dress, magic tricks, party decorations, games, treats and more.

*Source BBC

**According to Yahoo

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