It’s all trick, no treat for Britons celebrating Halloween this year

New polling from Ipsos shows we can expect changes in the way Halloween is celebrated this year due to the coronavirus.

The author(s)

  • Federica Curcurú Omnibus
  • Peter Cooper Omnibus
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Although Halloween does not seem a big celebration day for a majority of Britons (54% say they do not normally celebrate it and a similar 56% do not expect to celebrate Halloween this year), new polling from Ipsos shows we can expect changes in the way it is celebrated this year.

Less than one in ten (8%) of those who celebrate Halloween normally plan to trick or treat this year, whilst normally almost a third (31%) of those who celebrate would be hitting the streets to get their fill of sweets. As a proportion of the public as a whole, 11% normally go trick or treating, but just 3% expect to do so this year.  Among all households with children, 34% say they normally go or take a child trick or treating, but again sees a sharp fall to just 11% expecting to do so this year. In total, 53% of households with children say they normally celebrate Halloween outside of their home in some way, but only 23% say they are likely to do so this year – instead, there is a small increase in those celebrating at home with family and friends (from 20% to 30%).

This year 37% of those who would normally mark Halloween now plan to celebrate at home (much the same as usual), but they are less likely to celebrate with those outside of their household – just one in ten (11%) plan to share the fun with friends or family visiting them (among the population as a whole, 14% expect to celebrate Halloween at home, but just 4% think friends or family will visit them).

Of those who normally celebrate Halloween, significantly fewer plan to celebrate in a pub or restaurant, only 6% plan to celebrate like this, whilst 15% of regular Halloween-goers said this is how they would normally celebrate the event (2% and 5% respectively among the population as a whole). 

Technical note

Question wording:

  • Q3A. Thinking about previous years, which of the following, if any, do you normally do to celebrate Halloween?
  • Q3B. And which of the following, if any, do you expect to do to celebrate Halloween this year?


  • Ipsos interviewed a sample of 1,098 adults aged 16-75 in Great Britain using its online i:omnibus between 23rd and 24th September 2020.  Figures for those who normally celebrate Halloween are based on a sub-sample of 407 adults. Data has been weighted to the known offline population proportions for age, working status and social grade within gender, government office region and education.  All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.

The author(s)

  • Federica Curcurú Omnibus
  • Peter Cooper Omnibus

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