Oct. 31 or the last Saturday in October? Group proposes moving Halloween

See ya never, Oct. 31

By Jack Roskopp - Graham Media Group

If you're seen the Halloween classic "Hocus Pocus," you'll remember that Bette Midler's character, Winifred, refers to Halloween as "Allhallows Eve," a term that dates back to 2,000 years ago when the Celts originated the holiday. Now, a group called the Halloween and Costume Association is advocating for changing Halloween's date of Oct. 31 to the last Saturday in October in America. 

While some holidays in America, such as Thanksgiving or Mother's Day, are celebrated on the exact same day of the month every year, the celebration of Halloween happening on every Oct. 31 goes back to the origin of the holiday.

According to History.com, the Celts believed that Oct. 31 marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the cold winter. The new year began Nov. 1, and the day before was seen as the day on which everything, including humans, finally died before winter. The Celts believed that, on Oct. 31, the boundary between the living and the dead was open, so they celebrated the ghosts of the dead returning to Earth. 

In modern times, we've been celebrating Halloween every Oct. 31, regardless of what day of the week it falls on, but the Halloween and Costume Associationsaid its movement to have Halloween on a Saturday every year is gaining steam. 

“We feel the change is inevitable and that in the end, the logic behind creating a safer, longer Halloween will prevail,” said Kevin Johnson, chairman of the association. “Halloween has become a commercial holiday -- a time of fun, celebration and embracing the opportunity to become anything you could possibly dream of becoming, even if it’s just for a day.”

The association argues that having Halloween on the last Saturday of October would make it easier for children and parents to celebrate, and they point out that Halloween only began being celebrated in America less than 100 years ago, in Anoka, Minnesota. 

The group also predicts that stabilizing Halloween to the last weekend in October will have financial benefits for candy and costume companies, as more people will want to participate in the celebration on a Saturday.  

The association isn't just targeting parents whose children are trick-or-treating to get behind the movement. It is also reaching out to millennials. The association said that 51 percent of millennials say that Halloween is their favorite holiday, yet it is reduced to just a couple of hours if it lands on a weekday, as opposed to a full day of celebrating on a Saturday.

So what say you? Are you OK with Halloween landing on whatever day of the week it happens to fall on, or would you like to see it moved to the last Saturday of the month? If you're down with some change, you can check out the Halloween and Costume Association's petition to get Halloween moved to Saturday here.  

 

Graham Media Group 2018