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Halloween Date Change: Trick or Treat?

By Alex Galassini

Autumn is one of the most beloved seasons. In fact, a survey conducted by Chicago radio station 94.7 WLS indicates that over 40% of people claim fall is their favorite season. 

Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, there is no shortage of fall fun. With “Spooky Season” just around the corner, Americans are already filling up their candy bowls and gearing up for thrills and chills. However, many Americans are looking to change the iconic date of Halloween from the 31st of October to the last Saturday of the month. The driving force behind this new action is not to ruin the spooky holiday, but to make it even more enjoyable by celebrating it on the weekend as opposed to a weekday—where adults have work and children have school. 

This movement, which was started in 2018 by the “Halloween and Costume Association”, created a petition which now has over 150,000 signatures supporting the fight to change the Halloween date. The petition now has enough signatures to officially be presented to the President in order for the new date to become official. 

While some people welcome this change as a treat, others view it as a trick.

Many people believe that the iconic date of the 31st is sacred and the idea to change it is positively ghoulish. They’re not entirely wrong either. Halloween originally began as a Pagan festival honoring the dead: one night out of the year, spirits good and bad could roam the earth freely. When celebrating, people would dress up as evil spirits so they could blend in with the rest of the spirits that were set free during the festival. 

Oddly enough, Halloween then got its name from the Catholic Church’s backlash to the Pagan holiday. The Church decided to have a feast on the first of November, which would honor the Catholic Saints. Thus, this feast was dubbed as All Hallows or All Saints day, which led to October 31st being called All Hallows Eve—similarly to Christmas Eve.

Unless you feel a strong desire to celebrate a traditional Halloween by warding off evil spirits while dancing around a bonfire, the 31st holds no other value. Kids will still get their candy, Jack-O-Lanterns will still be glowing and Thriller will still be blasting through car radios. So, don’t be a witch.

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