Last Friday the radio news was abuzz with the question of whether Halloween should be shifted to the last Saturday of October. Traditionally Halloween came from All Hallows Eve, which comes before All Hallows Day and all Souls Day, where people rang bells for souls lost in Purgatory. As I haven’t seen anyone ringing bells on Nov. 1 or 2, I think that any connection to the religious holidays has probably faded from all memory (and, if not, probably should). The question was forgotten quickly and probably won’t come up again until next year at the same time.
So what’s keeping us from moving the Halloween tradition to a more convenient day? Having it on a Saturday night would allow kids to enjoy the evening without the consideration of school the next day. It would make things easier for parents, and would likely eliminate the rush hour crush as parents hustle home to help with getting kids ready or to man their front doors. School parties could be held on the Friday afternoon, if they still do that, which would be far more practical than a Monday afternoon. It would also make the increasing popularity of having kids’ parties rather than door to door begging an easier alternative to organize. I know that where I live nobody comes to the door (but due to the location that’s no surprise), and at my mother’s home, in the middle of a subdivision, she gets barely 40 kids to the door.
Things like Christmas and New Year’s Day are tied to their particular dates. We’ve already moved Labour Day and Victoria Day to convenient long weekends, so why not shift Halloween, and perhaps even Valentines Day. As far as I can see, it is only a win-win situation.
UPDATE: Interestingly, in all the Internet polls I’m seeing, people are voting against the idea by a narrow margin. However the comments tend to be for it.