Long days at work, a summer cold, a power outage, and writing deadlines have all conspired to curtail my blogging output this month. I promise to get back on track shortly, but right now I feel a burning need to editorialize…
The past few days, I keep coming across articles online about how some organization called the Halloween & Costume Association has started a petition to have Halloween officially moved from October 31st to the last Saturday of the month. My response to this: are you f@#%ing kidding me?
To uproot Halloween from October 31st is an affront to the Celtic roots (and later Catholic adoption) of the holiday. Such an act also robs Halloween of its special nature: it’s meant to be a day for pushing past usual norms and boundaries. Not only by dressing up, but by getting to stay up later (even on a weeknight!), be out after dark, to venture further into/beyond your neighborhood as a trick-or-treater.
The Halloween & Costume Association appears to be using scare tactics to influence people to sign its petition, making claims such as: “Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween.” But honestly, do they think there will be significantly less cars on the road on a Saturday afternoon, when most people are not working and free to go out shopping? Not in my neck of the Macabre Republic, that’s for sure.
The Saturday before Halloween already is a traditional party night for adults, so nothing is really affected there. And if a particular community chooses to hold trick-or-treating activities on the last Saturday of the month, that’s its business. But for the Halloween & Costume Association to try to dictate that everyone nationwide observes the holiday on a different day than the 31st is the ultimate instance of autumnal hutzpah.
A word to the wise for such folks: quit messing with the holiday, before this little guy shows up on your doorsteps with his candy sack: