Halloween and the date Oct. 31 are deeply entwined in the popular imagination, but one lawmaker says it's time to change tradition. Connecticut state Rep. Tim Larson (D) wants the state legislature to permanently designate the last Saturday in October as the night for trick-or-treating. He says that would make the holiday easier for parents, because they wouldn't have to dash home from work when Halloween falls on a weekday. Plus, he says, Halloween is a $7 billion a year industry, so anything that makes it run more smoothly will create jobs. "It's kind of a whimsical idea," says Larson, "but it's smart." Is it really?
No. Messing with Halloween tradition is dumb: "Some things are sacred," says Sunny Chanel at Babble. "There are fireworks on the Fourth of July, the tooth fairy comes to visit when you lose a tooth, and Halloween always falls on Oct. 31." Fiddling with such "near-holy traditions" to make things "more convenient for adults just seems to be selfish."
"Halloween not to be on October 31st? One politician wants to change the date to make it more convenient"
Maybe there should be more than one night of Halloween: "For those who are old enough to see Halloween as a day for boozing in uniformly slutty ensembles," says Margaret Hartmann at Jezebel, "the holiday is already unofficially celebrated on the weekend." So perhaps the solution is to still let kids "beg for candy" on the 31st, but also "shake down neighbors for chocolate" on the nearest Saturday.
"Halloween may be rescheduled, adjust accordingly"
This isn't a bad idea — but it won't happen: It is easier and "a little more exciting when Halloween falls on a Saturday," says Lindsay Mannering at The Stir. In a way, I feel like giving Larson a "hug, because he seems like a nice guy who's trying to help the community." But let's be honest: "There's no way in hell this legislation will pass." And really, "messing with a ritual that's been in place since the Middle Ages" would put us on a "slippery slope." What's next, Christmas?
"Halloween could change forever if this politician has his way"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- Why China thinks it could defeat the U.S. in battle
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- The Catholic case for military strikes in Iraq
- What the 'death of the library' means for the future of books
- Making officers more diverse isn't enough to stop police violence
- How Ferguson made conservatives lose faith in the police
Subscribe to the Week