From Hillary Clinton to Offred: how Halloween outgrew the sexy cat

For millennials, this annual chance to dress up will soon be bigger than Christmas. Which means the perfect costume is no longer a sheet over your head, but something that speaks to the zeitgeist

Pop quiz time. Halloween represents: a) A sorry indictment of the Americanisation of our culture. Whatever happened to a penny for the guy, eh? b) Sweets. c) An outfit that requires weeks of planning, which is unusual for you, as you generally can’t commit to anything more than 24 hours in advance. If you answered a), you are over 50. If you answered b), you are under 14. If you answered c), you are a millennial.

Halloween is now essentially Coachella with fake blood instead of false eyelashes. In the modern calendar, the day looms, suddenly, large. As the rites and rituals that ebbed away along with church congregations are replaced by new ones rooted in fashion, celebrity and popular culture, Halloween becomes ever more prominent. When spring comes around, we don’t make Easter bonnets any more, we make flower crowns for summer festivals. The day pumpkin spiced lattes are back at Starbucks is now bigger than Shrove Tuesday. And Halloween will soon be bigger than Christmas. At which point, we are essentially pagan again, I guess.

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