For decades, the last night of October has been a day for ghouls goblins and children of all ages to go out and trick or treat. However, all of that may soon change.
I first heard about the movement to change the date of Halloween when Snickers announced that it would give away one million candy bars if the date for the fall holiday is changed to the last Saturday of October. The fact that companies like Snickers and Party City seem to be involved said a lot to me about the motivation behind the movement.
As I dug deeper, I found that the idea behind the change appears to have started with a petition started in 2018 by the Halloween & Costume Association that has more than 120,000 signatures as of Thursday. While the initial goal was to make Halloween a safer holiday, the campaign seemed to take a turn Wednesday when the petition changed its goal from changing the holiday to outright creating a new one titled National Trick or Treat Day.
I will never say that Halloween isn’t a commercial holiday because it belongs up there on the list with Valentine’s Day as a day that has been exploited for profit and revenue. That said, this feels like double dipping to me and a way for candy manufacturers to boost their sales through two days of fall festivities.
I feel like the push to move the holiday ignores its implications as a religious holiday. While I admit it has been commercialized, the holiday has its origins with religion and culture, including the Celtic Samhain and the Allhallowtide holidays. Modern versions of the holiday may focus on monsters and the things that go bump in the night, but there are other meanings to the holiday that would be lost by moving it.
If the holiday was simply moved, there is nothing to really stop trick or treaters from celebrating on the 31st either. Instead, I think many would still go out on Halloween night to collect candies, effectively creating a second day on its own. I am not convinced that this isn’t the point of it all in the end..
Happy birthday to Jan Bateman, Vicki Watson and Deborah Mackey, all of Sherman; Sarah Frietsch and Sue Ann Wilson both of Denison;