Should Halloween be moved to the last Saturday in October?

The kids will come home from school excited for a night of trick-or-treating. Costumes will be put on and dinner quickly eaten. A night with friends collecting candy is all they will think about. They don’t want to be bothered with thoughts of homework and school. Luckily most teachers know this and are kind enough to not assign any homework.

Parents later will be insisting kids stop their fun and go to bed as there will be school tomorrow. With frowns on their faces, the kids will put away their candy and try to fall asleep.

The next day they will be dragging as they get up and trudge off to school. (Or perhaps they will be hyped up if they had an after-breakfast candy fix.)

This is how every Halloween goes when Halloween lands on a school day. So, this leads some parents and teachers to wonder…why can’t Halloween be set as the last Saturday of October? After all, there are already some American holidays that have been assigned a specific day of the week – Election day, Columbus Day, Presidents Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day and Thanksgiving.

In fact, in the past, Time magazine and the Spirit Halloween retail store both have done petitions to ask Congress to officially endorse this change. But since Halloween is not a federal/national holiday, the federal government cannot make anything other than a proclamation.

But still others claim that Halloween cannot fall on the same day each year due to religious observances. It is after the eve of All Hallow’s Day, which is also called All Saints’ Day, a Christian festival in honor of all Saints.

There are numerous other religious attachments to October 31 or November 1. But the actual celebration that these kids are participating is more of a commercial holiday. Halloween is one of the top-selling months for candy and of course there is the sales of costumes and decorations. Americans spent $8.4 billion last year on Halloween.

If we separate the fun night of dressing up and begging for candy from a day of any religious significance, then there should be no harm in moving the date.

As a parent, I don’t know if I am all that concerned with moving the date. It is a once a year event, and many parents already must contend with keeping kids up late due to either their busy schedule or that of their kids. In all honesty, I would be fine either way. But every year that Halloween lands on a school night, I will still hear this question asked. Maybe one day we will have an answer.

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