From tentative beginnings in Denmark in 1998, when the newspaper Ekstra Bladet put on a horror film festival at the Scala cinema, Halloween as a phenomenon has just grown and grown.
New figures collected by the business interest group Dansk Erhverv show that almost half of all Danish families with children intend to celebrate the festival in some way – and this can definitely be felt in the bottom lines of many shops.
“Danish shops are ready for Halloween and the shelves are bulging with sweets, dressing-up clothes and decorations,” said the group’s political consultant Matthias Vesterdal.
Banishing the gloom
He theorises that the reason the festival is so popular is that it has broad appeal. “We’re coming into a gloomy and dark period, so Danes don’t need much excuse to dress up and light candles.”
Halloween also fits in well with the other festive occasions of the year. “Halloween comes right in the middle of a grey period where there are no really big Danish holidays, so it’s not surprising that both shops and consumers have embraced it enthusiastically,” said Vesterdal.
He added that the merchandise aimed at this holiday is one area where physical shops can offer something that internet shops have difficulty in matching.
“That’s why more and more shops make more of this kind of tradition,” he said.