Should Halloween Always be on a Saturday?

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Olivia Belrose, Writer

As children, we spend weeks planning the perfect Halloween costume. The princess dress must look exactly like Cinderella’s, the superhero costume must have real-looking muscles or, in my case, you must have a meat cleaver and a bloody gown. Adults buy candy weeks in advance, hoping they won’t eat it before the holiday, and in hopes of getting swarms of trick or treaters. Halloween is the one night of the year where you can dress up however you want and run on a diet of sugar, until it gets cut short because it’s a school night. 

According to the United States Census Bureau, approximately 41 million kids across the United States dress up to trick or treat for Halloween, and over 148 million adults take part in Halloween-related activities every year. Children can’t help but begin to plan their costumes in July. Adults, especially, love to decorate and hand out candy to the neighborhood trick-or-treaters as it reminds them of their childhood. However, having Halloween on a school night puts a lot of stress on both parents and children. When it comes to balancing work, homework, extra-curricular activities and family responsibilities, people force themselves into a tight schedule and, in some cases, a particularly dangerous situation. Therefore, Halloween should always be on a Saturday to provide flexibility for, and enjoyment of, the festivities. 

As a parent, you want to experience your children growing up, the personality and interests they develop as well as the events they choose to participate in. That is until you find yourself stressed over having a million responsibilities while trying to meet deadlines at work, transport your kids, make dinner and pick up the house at night. Suddenly, you just remember that Halloween is on Wednesday and you know your son or daughter is expecting to go trick-or-treating in at least three different neighborhoods. Plus, they’re expecting you to craft their dream costume for them, which requires you to spend money and hours gathering supplies and putting it together. As a little girl in second grade, I remember witnessing my mother, a sixth-grade school teacher, coming home on a Tuesday evening one year, stressed due to the upcoming report card season, and then I reminded her of the school Halloween party and costume contest. While she did a fantastic job of creating a winning costume for me, thinking back, she must have been overwhelmed with school work, chores and my siblings’ schedules. Therefore, Halloween should always be on a Saturday to limit the amount of pressure parents face to fit everything in before waking up in the morning. 

According to 11Alive, some people may be rigid around the idea of having Halloween on a Saturday every year. Since the Celtic festival of Samhain, Oct. 31. has been the tradition for 2000 years, as it marks the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. Nov. 1. proceeds with All-Saints Day, a day to remember the dead, with festivities that start on the evening of October 31st. However, if people are going to celebrate starting in the evening and into the night before work in the morning, they will want to consume alcohol and lead themselves into dangerous activities, such as night-time intoxicated driving. This not only increases the risk of an accident, but all of the children who are out trick-or-treating in the streets are now in danger. It’s already hard enough to see people wearing dark clothing in the streets at night. Now factor in speed and intoxication; what are the odds? According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children are four times more likely to get hit by a car on Halloween night. Kids get distracted easily when crossing the street, especially when there is no adult present. When parents are busy with weekday responsibilities, they’re more likely to send kids off trick or treating on their own. This also opens up the risk of children coming in contact with strangers, entering an unsafe premise or getting injured. Therefore, Halloween should always be on a Saturday to increase adult supervision and reduce safety hazards. 

Halloween is especially stressful for parents, but having it on a school night takes a toll on kids too. According to Matt Douglas, a CEO in the celebrations industry, who runs and a parent of two children, having Halloween on a Saturday every year is healthier for kids and better for schools and teachers. When kids come home from school on the evening of Halloween, they’re highly likely to have a fair amount of homework to do. How will they fit it all in? Middle school and high school students in particular will often stay up really late trying to finish an essay or cram for a unit test the next day. Maybe they will rush through their homework before going off to celebrate, or leave it to be completed the next morning as they scramble to get ready for school. Rushing through school work only weakens students’ performance in school. A poor grade on a test or a paper can take a while to recover from. According to the Calabasas Courier, teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep in order to properly function while younger children need nine to 11 hours. Should the teacher hold off on homework for one night and push the test back one day? This would only take away from the required instruction and limit the time students have to learn. At the same time, trying to teach over-exhausted, sugar-infested kids is a difficult task for anyone. Therefore, Halloween should always be on a Saturday to avoid poor performance and behavior in school. 

Halloween is no fun when you have to cut the festivities short due to other responsibilities. If you don’t prioritize your time, you end up regretting it the next day. Halloween is the one night of the year when people will open up their doors and welcome strangers. People can avoid the judgment and dress up however they want. Let’s do ourselves a favor and plan Halloween for the last Saturday of October and stretch out the festivities. If kids can trick-or-treat, attend parties and costume contests, why not make it exciting for adults too?