The traditions of Halloween have changed over the centuries, but one tradition that Americans seemingly aren't ready to give up is celebrating the holiday on October 31st, with the Halloween & Costume Association launching "National Trick or Treat Day" on the last Saturday of the month in hopes of promoting safety. The logic behind their hoped shift in festivities was to allow kids an entire weekend to celebrate the fun of the holiday, instead of having them go door to door on a school night in pursuit of candy. While this new holiday might not replace Halloween, we can't complain about having even more days to celebrate the spookiest day of the year.
"We’ve listened to ALL of your feedback since the petition started in 2018 and view this as an opportunity to truly honor what Halloween is—a celebration of self-expression and unity," the Halloween & Costume Association shared on their website. "While we still believe an end-of-October Saturday observance will promote safety and increase the fun, this year we will be launching a national initiative designed to enhance the Halloween that we all know and love."
Halloween night isn't traditionally a more dangerous time for children, but sending them out through a neighborhood to ask strangers for candy while masked figures are encouraged to cause mischief is understandably a scenario that can make parents nervous. Many communities have begun to unofficially celebrate the excitement of Halloween on the weekend leading up to the official event, with the Halloween & Costume Association making a bigger push for these events with their sponsors.
The site adds, "Instead of changing the date that Americans celebrate Halloween, we will be adding an additional day of festivities in partnership with Party City and other brands. National Trick or Treat Day will take place annually on the last Saturday of October so families across the country can participate in community parades, throw neighborhood parties and opt for daytime Trick or Treating."
Many Halloween historians believe the holiday originates with the Celtic celebration of Samhain, a harvest festival meant to mark the transition into the "darker half" of the year, during which the barriers between the worlds of the living and the dead were the thinnest. Offerings were made to potential creatures crossing over from another world, resulting in Celts dressing up in costume to disguise themselves from the monsters that might kidnap them.
With the American traditions of Halloween only beginning back in the 19th century and only gaining true prominence in the last few decades, we wouldn't rule out an official shift in celebrations to a "safer" day in the coming decades, but, for now, we'll take both Halloween and National Trick or Treat Day.
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