Should Halloween be moved to the last Saturday in October?
It’s that time of year again: Halloween season. The end days of October are upon us, and many people are thinking about trick-or-treating, fall decorating, carving pumpkins, and dressing in costumes. The long-held tradition of children going around their neighborhood and collecting candy is alive and well as ever.
But, as it stands, Oct. 31, depending on the year, can fall on any day of the week. This year, for instance, Halloween will be on a Thursday. But is this really what’s best for Americans, especially children who may be trick-or-treating on a school night?
There is a growing movement of people who want to move Halloween to the last Saturday in October. In fact, on change.org, there is a petition started by Halloween and Costume Association, entitled “Join the Saturday Celebration,” that has over 150,000 signatures.
While the petition was originally started to move Halloween to the last Saturday of the month, it has now shifted its focus to starting National Trick or Treat Day, a day when families can trick-or-treat on the last Saturday in October.
There are some obvious advantages to this proposal. If Halloween were moved to a Saturday, the Halloween festivities would always fall on a day when children didn’t have school the next morning, and therefore they could stay out later.
There are also many adults who don’t work over the weekend, and they would have the advantage of being able to stay out late, too. Rather than having to focus on evening homework, students of all kinds would be able to go out and enjoy themselves, whether they go trick-or-treating, to a haunted house, or to a costume party.
Another advantage of moving Halloween to a Saturday is that children can trick-or-treat during the daytime, which would improve the safety of the holiday. However, moving Halloween to a Saturday does have its downsides.
Halloween is noted for being the day before All Saints’ Day, also called All Hallows’ Day, which is a Christian holiday in which people honor all of the saints. If Halloween were no longer always Oct. 31, it would lose its temporal, though not conceptual, connection to All Hallows’ Day.
There is a little-known connection between Halloween and All Hallows’ Day. According to refinery29.com, early Christians established All Hallows’ Day around the holiday that eventually became Halloween, called “Samhain.” Christian leaders did this to expand the church’s influence in people’s lives.
There is also the concern of people keeping track of when Halloween is. Having Halloween on Oct. 31, the last day of October, is easy to remember. With the date of Halloween changing from year to year, people may lose track of when the holiday is.
Marie Martin, a junior medical laboratory science major, is in favor of keeping Halloween on the same date. Speaking on moving Halloween to the last Saturday of October, Martin said,
“I think it would make sense, but not, like, logistical sense? Like, would it be better? 1,000% yes. But would people know when it is? No.”
Martin went on to compare moving Halloween to the last Saturday in October to the date of Thanksgiving, since both change from year to year.
Regardless of when Halloween is celebrated, the important thing is to spend it with people you care about — and have some spooky fun in the process, whether it’s trick-or-treating, attending a costume party, going to a haunted house, watching a scary movie, or anything else you can think of that puts you in a festive mood.
By ALLISON GUY
Featured photo from Pexels.