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
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week