Why Halloween Does NOT Need To Be Moved From October 31st
Halloween would not be Halloween on any date other than October 31st.
The Halloween & Costume Association is a group of companies that produce Halloween masks, costumes, and other related products. Last October, they launched a petition suggesting that Halloween should be moved to the last Saturday in October for a number of reasons, quoted here from the petition on Change.org:
- 3,800 Halloween-related injuries each year.
- 82% of parents don’t use high visibility aids on their costume, be sure to incorporate reflective tape, glow sticks, finger lights or light up accessories
- 63% of children don’t carry a flashlight while they are trick-or-treating. Grab a clip-on light if they don’t want to carry one! Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween. Discuss safety, pre-plan a route, stay on sidewalks and use crosswalks
- 65% of parents don’t discuss Halloween safety with their children. Talk with your kids and offer ways to ensure a fun and safe experience
- 12% of children 5 and under go trick or treating without the supervision of an adult. Grab a costume and take advantage of some good ol' fashioned family bonding!
- 51% Of Millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday, why cram it into 2 rushed evening weekday hours when it deserves a full day!?!
This 'reasoning' seems solid until you really look at it in detail.
- Safety: there's no guarantee that moving Halloween to a Saturday would in any way encourage parents to exercise more caution with their kids when it comes to trick or treating nor any correlation between the day of week Halloween falls on and safe trick or treating. In fact, a recent survey found that many adults drink alcoholic beverages while taking their kids trick or treating. If Halloween was on a Saturday night, more drinking would likely happen since most people don't work on Sundays and that would probably cause an uptick in parental irresponsibility.
- Millennial involvement: this is the most ludicrous argument used by the HCA in its push to move Halloween. Millennials have indeed been the most active participants in Halloween activities for years now with the holiday on October 31st.
- $$$: The Halloween & Costume Association really only wants to move Halloween for one reason: to make more money. If trick or treating is on a Saturday night, kids can trick or treat longer which would mean more candy being purchased, or at least that's what the HCA thinks. They also feel the critical Millennial demo will spend more money on costumes, decorations, and party supplies if Halloween is on a Saturday night. The problem with this 'reasoning' is that Millennials with kids won't be able to have a party on Halloween night if it's moved. More than 1 million Millennial women become mothers each year, after all. Not to mention that Millennials have already been celebrating Halloween despite the fact that it is most often on a weeknight.
What is the solution to this problem that isn't really a problem at all? Here are a few:
- If the Halloween & Costume Association really cared about child safety, they would use their resources to more rigorously advocate for trick or treating safety. They would have their many members offer incentives to customers to buy flashlights, glow sticks, and other light - up items by offering them at a discounted price along with costume and decoration purchases.
- The Halloween & Costume Association could advocate not for a National Trick Or Treat Day to get people to double - dip on Halloween purchases but could instead try to establish a Halloween celebration during Safe Kids Week in May. Why not create a 'Halloween In May' celebration like Christmas In July during Safe Kids Week that could educate parents and kids on safe trick or treating? Communities could recognize Halloween In May with trick or treating activities and Halloween - related activities, allowing the HCA to benefit while truly helping children stay safe.
- As for anyone complaining that they 'can't have a party on Halloween night,' my advice is to get over it. We've had an annual Halloween party for almost twenty years now. Most people have their decorations up before Halloween night anyway and Halloween is a month - long celebration at this point already. The only person keeping you from having a Halloween party whenever you want to is you.
These are just the opinions of a longtime and passionate fan of Halloween. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Facebook!