We know from our weekly chats with our US and UK Trendspotters that Summer is now a distant memory and school routines back in full force. But as they snuggle into the Autumn / Winter season, these kids are more excited than ever to round the year off with some celebrating! So let’s take a look at exactly how they’re planning to mark these special days...
SPOOKY SEASON Since the calendar tipped into October, kids on both sides of the pond got well and truly in the spooky mood. We’re continuing to see its popularity rise in the UK with Halloween GRWM dominating TikTok feeds and Hocus Pocus 2 on the movie list, but the US is still very much leading the way. Most American kids are planning their costumes weeks in advance and making it a whole-family event while UK kids are more likely to hang out with close friends, watch fireworks displays and dress-up is optional... with some older kids considering it a little uncool.
“My family goes trick or treating for Halloween. This year I'm going as Robin from Stranger Things." - Rachel, Age 8, US
"For Halloween me and my family go to so many people's houses for trick or treating. I'm going to be a rainbow skeleton this year" - Ajeya, Age 8, US
"I'll be celebrating Halloween. My friends will probably come round to my house, but I won't be dressing up - I'm too old for that now." - Tyler, Age 12, UK
Although Halloween is considered the second largest commercial holiday in the calendar, this year we’ve seen a shift to supporting local. Kids in both the UK and US are connecting with independent businesses and communities to mark the day. The rise of pumpkin patches in the UK and town gatherings in the US are just some of the ways this is being done.
"This week my family are going to the annual Spirit Rally in town - it's for all the schools and to demonstrate our town pride. There will be booths, food stalls and some fairground rides too. I'll be spending my money on food! I LOVE churros!" - Alex, Age 13, US
“My mum said we’re going to go to a pumpkin patch near our house. I think you get to pick a couple and then carve them.” - Caylen, Age 10, UK
FAMILY FESTIVITIES Thanksgiving is the next big day on the calendar for many US kids. Much like Christmas, it’s marked with lots of food, family time and giving thanks to one another. Although our UK kids aren’t yet celebrating this day, they do have some understanding of when and why it’s celebrated.
“Thanksgiving is in November. We eat a big feast of turkey and its usually on my birthday or around it" - Ellis, Age 10, US
"Thanksgiving I think is November 24th and they have pumpkin and turkey" - Noah, Age 12, UK
Almost all kids, regardless of their cultural or religious belief, are rounding the year off with Christmas. Despite their carefully selected wish-lists, it really is all about the quality family time. Being able to hang out with siblings, see extended family and spend time with grandparents is what makes this day so special for Generation Alpha.
"At Christmas we decorate the house with blow ups and candy canes, and we have a big dinner with all of our family. I love spending time with them.” - Rachel, Age 8, US
“All of my cousins, aunties and uncles come to our grandparents' house. We spend most of the day there and have a big dinner together. I’d say Christmas is the biggest holiday we celebrate.” - Caylen, Age 10, UK
CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS In between these days lie many important multi-faith celebrations. Much like last year, we see an imbalance in awareness across the UK and US. With Diwali just passed, UK kids were keen to share their understanding of the day with us. Much of this knowledge seems to be driven from schools and their local communities.
“On Diwali we go see the lights. It’s this massive street with loads of lights. We drive around and eat some food after it.” - Caylen, Age 10, UK
"I don't celebrate it but I know the story about Diwali. It's about this girlfriend that got kidnapped and the boyfriend saved her so you raise lights in respect." - Tyler, Age 12, UK
As US kids are gearing up for Christmas, they are also very much aware of Hanukkah – labelling it as the ‘Jewish Christmas’. Although not everyone will be celebrating it, they do have some understanding of why Hanukkah is celebrated and are somewhat marking the day through schools.
“Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration that happens in December. They have a candle with seven different lights on it. We do it in school.” - Ethan, Age 10, US
“I’m going to be celebrating Hanukkah in school this year. My teacher has already told us about the 7 candles.” - Rachel, Age 8, US
Given how tuned-in and globally aware Gen Alpha are becoming, there are many opportunities for brands to help guide them on their way. If you’d like to know more about how to find your brand’s place in these global celebrations, please get in touch and use our brain.