Is Halloween Headed Toward Holiday Status?

Author: Jasmine Zhu       

What you think about Halloween — and how that factors into both planning and attending meetings on Oct. 31 — is likely to be linked to the generation you were born in. And the younger you and/or your meeting attendees are, the more likely you are to reserve that day for celebrating with family.

That’s based on a conversation we had with Amy Lynch, a Nashville-based generations researcher, and consultant who told Convene that generational differences play a big factor in how professionals view Halloween. Boomers tended to put work first and family second, she said, an attitude that succeeding generations are challenging, and in some cases, reversing.

Two weeks ago, we asked readers to let us know what they think, personally and professionally, about the holiday. We also asked respondents to identify their generation, so we could see how their answers were correlated.

Here are the results:

Celebration vs. Holiday

One of the questions we asked was whether or not you consider Halloween to be a holiday or celebration: of 99 respondents, 41 percent view it as a holiday, and 59 percent consider it a celebration.

As Lynch predicted, responses diverged along age lines — those that identified as Gen X or Millennial were more likely to see Halloween as a holiday (50 percent and 56 percent, respectively), while the majority of Boomers surveyed (73 percent) were more likely to see Halloween as a celebration.

We also asked you if you considered Halloween to be a treat — 82 percent said yes. The remaining 18 percent aren’t fans.

To Meet or Not to Meet?

Boomers were more likely than Gen X and Millennials to both schedule and attend Halloween meetings. Forty percent of Boomers who answered the survey said they would schedule a Halloween meeting, while only 18 percent of Gen X and 28 percent of Millennials would schedule one.

As far as meetings others schedule, 70 percent of Boomers surveyed said they would attend  a meeting on Halloween, while only 39 percent of Gen X and 39 percent of Millennials would attend one.

Of all respondents, only 4 percent receive time off from their place of work for Halloween. So, while half of the largest part of the workforce — Gen X and Millennials — think of the  date as a holiday, for the most part, it’s still not formally acknowledged as one — yet.

If it does become a wider practice, PCMA is on the leading edge of the trend: President and CEO Sherrif Karamat announced that all of the organization’s offices will close at 2 p.m. on Halloween so that employees will have time to get home to celebrate with their families.

*By the numbers: 33 respondents identified as Boomers, 39 respondents identified as Gen X, and 18 respondents identified as Millennials. Outliers include the 7 respondents had identified as Gen Y, and 2 respondents who identified as “other.”