Halloween falls on a Monday this year.
If you are a commuting/working parent, that means you are rushing home to make supper, feed everyone, and get your kids dressed and ready for trick-or-treating at a decent hour. If your kids are young, like mine, you especially want to start the candy madness early so they are in bed at a reasonable time to avoid the meltdowns and challenges associated to restarting the whole school/daycare routine the next day.
I have a solution – MOVE HALLOWEEN.
We don’t exactly “observe” Halloween the way it was originally intended to be observed. Halloween originated as a pagan ritual about 2000 years ago with peasants dressing up once a year to scare off spirits. The ritual was integrated into Christian practice around the 9th century following the creation of All Saints Day on November 1st and gradually evolved with the inclusion of children going door-to-door singing and offering prayers in exchange for treats, somewhat similar to what we do today.
But do your children dress up to scare off spirits? Do they sing door-to-door and pray for souls in exchange for treats? Probably not.
So my question is: why do we need to observe Halloween on October 31st?
There are a number of holidays with dates that change each year for various reasons, whether they be religious or secular, and coincide with a weekend (ex: Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox; Canadian Thanksgiving is on the 2nd Monday in October; Family Day (in most parts of Canada) is on the 3rd Monday in February, etc.). Why don’t move Halloween each year so that it falls on the last Saturday of October? While there are some historical Christian ties to Halloween being practised on the 31st, many leaders of the various Christian denominations in today’s world may actually welcome the change.
Whether they be for religious reasons or not, moving Halloween would:
- Eliminate parents rushing home from work to feed their kids and get them ready for trick-or-treating; and
- Allow kids to enjoy Halloween night, especially candy, without having to go to bed early for school/daycare the next day.
I cannot take credit for this idea. There have been some Canadian towns who have decided on an ad-hoc basis to move trick-or-treating practices to a more convenient time for families, such as a Saturday near the 31st. It’s brilliant and appears to have been successful.
Our lives are already busy enough. Let’s try to keep things easy and logical. Celebrating Halloween on a Saturday would allow parents and trick-or-treaters alike to enjoy all the candy, costumes, and fun associated to Halloween in a more relaxed and balanced manner.
Think about it.