Editorial: Top 5 reasons to keep Halloween on Oct. 31

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

It’s that time of the year again — everyone dresses up in spooky costumes and parades around the neighborhood to stockpile mini candies from kind neighbors. Some neighbors greet you with a troupe of jack-o’-lanterns on their front porch, others adorn their front doors and windows with fake but all-too-real-looking skeletons and cobwebs.

But it’s not Halloween decorations that are in dispute — it’s the timing of the holiday. A change.org petition, addressed to President Donald Trump, believes the United States should celebrate Halloween on the last Saturday of October instead of Oct. 31 — and nearly 50,000 people had signed it as of Hallow-evening.

Here at The Pitt News, we believe it’s important to keep Halloween on Oct. 31. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Tradition matters

According to the petition, 51 percent of millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday, so holding Halloween on Saturday gives them more time to celebrate. Yes, millennials are the definition-of-entitlement generation, but they shouldn’t have everything their own way. Halloween was originally the ancient Celtic New Year, and modern American Halloween celebrations including trick-or-treating have taken place on Oct. 31 since the 1850s. Moving the holiday to an arbitrary Saturday would disrespect Halloween’s historical significance — and we shouldn’t eradicate centuries of tradition for the convenience of some young’uns.

  1. The President has more pressing things to worry about

The fact that this petition was addressed to the president is ridiculous, to say the least. Halloween isn’t even a federal holiday, so celebrating Halloween on the 31st is strictly cultural, not federally mandated. This issue is trivial compared to what President Trump deals with on a daily basis — he’s too busy mocking reporters on Twitter to care about Halloween.

  1. Holding Halloween on Saturday won’t guarantee safety

It seems the petition’s chief goal is to make Halloween safer, and it lists many safety tips — carry a flashlight, wear a costume with reflective material and plan a trick-or-treating route. This is all good advice, but people can adhere to these safety tips regardless of the day Halloween is on. The petition provides no evidence that trick-or-treating on Saturday is more dangerous than on a weekday.

  1. Children can wear costumes to school

Ah, yes, the best part about holidays as a child — school parties. Halloween is the only day of the year when children can show up to school in scary costumes, and holding Halloween on a weekend would spoil that fun. Nothing is more satisfying than the gasp of terror from a teacher — especially when they’re the ones inflicting the terror every other day of the year.

  1. Children won’t annoy you while you’re trick-or-treating

Let’s be real — no one actually likes children, especially when they come knocking on your door on a weekend night to interrupt whatever it is college students do on weekends. And if Halloween is on a weekday, children will have school — and that means they’ll also have heaps of homework. Clearly, they’ll be too busy scribbling away on their math worksheets to scamper around your neighborhood with their piercing, high-pitched voices and ghoulish glee. If Halloween fell on a Saturday every year, getting drunk and going trick-or-treating could become ritual for college students — certainly a less civil alternative.

This petition was certainly well-intentioned, but it wasn’t well-thought-out. The idea of changing Halloween to a Saturday is almost as scary as the cobwebs and skeletons on everyone’s front doors.