When should Halloween be?

Illustration for article titled When should Halloween be?
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While challenging our traditions and institutions can often lead to positive change, sometimes people introduce the kind of radical idea that threatens anarchy and globaldestabilization. To that end, a Change.org petition is arguing that Halloween should no longer be on October 31, but instead on the final Saturday of October.

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As a seasonal custom, Halloween has been getting started earlier with each passing year. Go to a big-box store right now, in late July, and you’ll see bags of fun-size candy. Spirit Halloween is already colonizing whichever stores have closed in your area over the last few months. And now, even Snickers is getting in on it:

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A million free candy bars, in exchange for the end of Halloween as we knew it. What a price to pay.

The petition, and the implications therein, have been a hot topic of debate around the Takeout offices this morning. Some would argue that given its centuries of tradition, it’s immovable. If not a celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, then what is it at all?

Yet others disagree. Any further thoughts from the room?


Halloween should be on the last Saturday of October, always

Unlike Kevin “enjoy your Good & Plentys” Pang, I don’t hate fun. I do hate when Halloween falls on something like a Wednesday, so people aren’t home to attend to trick-or-treaters and co-workers begrudgingly have to wear cat ears to the office. Put this fun, weird, freaky holiday on a weekend where it belongs. If Halloween were predictably on the final Saturday of October, we could let our inner weirdos out without fear of having to report to work with glitter in our hair or fake blood still caked under our fingernails. Plus, that’s leaves a whole Sunday to eat leftover candy and watch football. [Kate Bernot]

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Halloween should be last Tuesday of October from 3:30-4 p.m.

I will gladly accept your slings and arrows of being a killjoy, but I think Halloween should be on a weekday afternoon for half an hour, maximum. Now that I’m a parent, and lived through the hell of what happens when a toddler inhales a fun-sized bag of M&M’s, I’m of the mind that kids really shouldn’t be eating through three pounds of candy. So I propose trick-or-treating to be treated like a game show, like the timed race on Supermarket Sweep, where children have exactly 30 minutes to race from door too door collecting as much candy as possible in the allotted time. They’ll still be taking home an inadvisable amount of treats, only the quantity won’t be as obscene. Bonus: I’ll likely be at work between 3:30 and 4 p.m., so I won’t have to deal with it. [Kevin Pang]

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Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

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Halloween should be removed from the calendar entirely if it’s gonna be like this, it’s being ruined by adults trying to “fix” it. Halloween should be October 31st, and Daylight Saving Time ending should never have been pushed forward from Nov to Oct to ensure that kids are Trick-or-Treating in daylight (this is exactly why the congress did it, look it up). Halloween is supposed to be for kids having scary fun in the dark, not just to sell overpriced “spooky” stuff to drunk adults and to make costumed children beg for candy door to door. It’s supposed to celebrate the dead while fearing them, it shouldn’t just be Easter II, now with more eggs.

Halloween used to be spooky, moody, a little uncomfortable but fun to see which blocks were all dark and which were alive. You could tell the cool folks in your neighborhood by how much energy they put into doing crazy stuff — like your boring teacher turns out to be the one who puts on the witch costume and has a lit, bubbling cauldron all night, she’s genuinely scary and fun as she gets into character.

Let Halloween be Halloween, or just bury it entirely for later generations to dig up its corpse.