This Hallowe’en we had not a single trick-or-treater come to our door, perhaps due in part to confusion as to the day. Some of our municipalities encouraged trick-or-treating on Saturday instead of Hallowe’en. This prompted me to write a letter to the newspaper, which they didn’t publish, but I will:

Reality is so inconvenient.

The sun sets too soon for our evening leisure activities, so we change the clocks twice a year and call it Daylight Savings Time. Who cares about light in the morning besides farmers and school children, anyway?

It’s really annoying to have a holiday in the middle of the week; we’d much rather have a three-day weekend. We alter the calendar, transforming Washington’s Birthday into Presidents’ Day, making Memorial Day a moveable celebration, and otherwise changing our holidays to improve our merrymaking. We draw the line on some occasions, however: the Fourth of July remains on July 4, Christmas on December 25; Hallowe’en on October 31.

Until now. It seems that Hallowe’en will be the next victim of our quest for convenience. How unfortunate that October 31 is a Sunday this year. Children won’t be able to stay out as late trick-or-treating, because they have school on Monday, and because we will have changed our clocks again. How much better it would be to change Hallowe’en to Saturday. Maybe we could make it the last Saturday in October every year.

Thus we strip another holiday from the very meaning of its name: All Hallows Eve, which is the night before All Hallows Day, just as Christmas Eve is the night before Christmas Day. November 1, the major church festival of All Saints, could find itself separated from its Eve by several days. On the other hand, perhaps the churches could follow the lead of the community and start celebrating All Saints as the day after Hallowe’en. With the latter being on Saturday, All Saints would always be on Sunday, saving the churches the bother of holding a mid-week service.

How convenient.
Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, October 31, 1999 at 8:47 pm | Edit
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