Refashioned Festivities: DGN community modifies, rethinks Halloween traditions


LIT UP: Downers Grove Resident Kay Pappineau’s home captures Halloween spirit despite the year’s contrastive circumstances.

Nicholas Hanscom, In-Depth Editor

“Halloween is a big deal for younger generations. I feel bad kids won’t get to experience what they usually do during this holiday,” Downers Grove resident Edith Warren said. “On the other hand, though, I am excited to see how people will do things differently.”

Every year, the DGN community celebrates Halloween in various ways. Some enjoy the holiday by passing out candy, and others go to parties, trick-or-treat or hang out with friends or family. Some still plan to uphold these festivities in a new light this year to accommodate the holiday’s safety guidelines. However, others plan to drop these former traditions entirely and adopt new forms of celebration instead. 

“I am excited about Halloween, but I also worry. There will be many last-minute changes and decisions that will need to be made as we get closer to the holiday. I want my family to be as safe as possible and have fun, which now is hard to do.” Biology 300 teacher Jacquelyn Weishaar said.


Transformed Traditions

Despite the circumstances this year, many members of the DGN community still intend to practice former Halloween traditions with certain modifications. 

Senior Lily Johnson’s family hopes to still have a fun time on the holiday and attempt to trick-or-treat while following safety protocols.    

“In general, my family is still unsure about what is going to happen, but we are looking for the safest options while hopefully still allowing some fun,” Johnson said. “My youngest sibling will be trick-or-treating this year unless the CDC suggests something or we are back in quarantine. If trick-or-treating, he will wear a mask and will only be allowed to get candy if a bowl is out, and not too many people are near that house.”

According to a survey published Sept. 12, 46 percent of Americans do not plan to hand out candy this Halloween, and 24 percent say they will leave a candy bowl outside for trick-or-treaters. Weishaar, on the other hand, will still distribute candy–but differently.

“This year, to keep [kids] safe from being exposed, we are going to set up a candy shoot at our front door. It will be made of a 10-foot PVC pipe set up by our front door and angled down to our walkway. Kids can then put their candy bucket at the bottom of the shoot, and the candy will fall in,” Weishaar said. 


A Different Direction

While some still hope and intend to trick-or-treat and pass out candy, however, others plan to celebrate the holiday alternately. 

Warren usually hosts a party with family and a few friends on Halloween, but, concerned for hers and others’ health, has canceled her gathering and will stay in for the holiday night.

“With me being at an older age, I am at higher risk during the pandemic of getting infected with the virus,” Warren said. “So, while I will miss seeing my family and friends this year like I usually do, I am just going to lay low for the night and refrain from passing out candy.”

Junior Mia Chen and her sister traditionally trick-or-treat with friends while her parents pass out candy at home. Although the pandemic prevents either from happening this year, Chen remains optimistic.

I’m planning on doing something else with my friends like just going over to their house and being outside since we feel more comfortable outdoors,” Chen said. “I feel that I will still be able to have fun doing Halloween a little differently as long as I am with my friends and still get to wear our costumes–and a mask, of course.”

I feel that I will still be able to have fun doing Halloween a little differently as long as I am with my friends and still get to wear our costumes–and a mask, of course.

— Mia Chen


Trick or Truth

Even with this Halloween’s differences and change of events, certain members of the DGN community still remember the importance of the holiday during the time the world is in and encourage people to take advantage of it while they can.     

“Originally, Halloween was considered a very sacred day and was about family, friends and togetherness,” Downers Grove resident Kay Pappineau said. “It may be one of the only times to get out and have fun this year and can give people an emotional boost before going into the winter.”