“There will be school tomorrow!” yelled Mrs. Treadwater, my third-grade teacher. And I should probably explain that I was still in third grade. This didn’t happen recently. It would be pretty weird if at my age I were still hanging around my third-grade classroom which is why I stopped doing it a few years ago, but that’s another story.
Mrs. Treadway was letting us know that even though Halloween fell on a Wednesday that year it was still a school day. I’m not sure why she sounded angry about it. Maybe she was tired of kids asking her if it was a holiday. Maybe she was annoyed she didn’t get the day off either. Maybe it was both.
Last year Arionis over at Just A Small Cog lamented the fact that Halloween 2017 fell on a Tuesday and offered up a petition to have Halloween officially moved to the last Saturday in October. It made sense then. It makes even more sense now. Halloween should be a moveable feast, even if those are usually reserved for saints, since it’s a time when the spirits are on the move.
In some areas, such as here in Tennessee, Halloween on a Wednesday can be, or at least once was, problematic. Wednesday was, and still is for some, traditionally a church night—it’s a night when those of certain faiths gather for a mid-week dose of preachin’ to get them over hump day, which reminds me of the old joke: why is Wednesday called “Hump Day” when most people get laid on the weekend?
Anyway the number of people who have Wednesday worship has fallen off so much that it’s no longer a problem but I distinctly remember the city council devoting whole sessions to whether Halloween on a Wednesday should be moved to another night, and getting into lengthy fights over whether it should be moved and which night would be more appropriate. There were even a few years that some of us kids were lucky enough to get a double dose of Halloween as the compromise was to spread it over two nights.
We still had to go to school, though.
And that concludes the 2018 Halloween Parade, but, whenever it is, it’s Lou Reed who gets the last word.
OK – so, as someone who was born near Halloween (10/27), making the last Saturday of October Halloween ensures that I will never have a birthday party that isn’t usurped by Halloween.
When I was a kid, Halloween wasn’t a month-long thing. We maybe got into it about a week beforehand – although, I know my mother and father engineered costumes well before that. I have to give them props.
It’s in the last decade or so that Halloween has become this big blown out thing. I don’t mind, per se, but I think much like Black Friday, it has become bigger and bigger, with no more joy, only more work.
But maybe I’m just old and cranky.
Oh, hey, happy belated birthday! I was born in late December so I can sympathize.
In the old days Halloween wasn’t nearly as elaborate as it is now. I remember throwing together some costumes that day or just the day before. I wish it could be just as big without all the work.
Thanks for remembering Chris! My petition never did get much traction though. However, I was watching Tosh.0 last night and Daniel Tosh made a plea to move it to the last Saturday. This morning I heard on the radio that there was a petition sent to the white house for the same thing. So maybe I got the ball rolling?
You could definitely be a trendsetter. I think most of us can agree that the weekend is the ideal time for Halloween. Somebody just had to say it first.
I’m currently living in a senior community so I get to hoard ALL the M&M’s I buy “just in case” (heh heh heh – twirls imaginary mustache).
Oh yeah, “just in case” candy is always my downfall. It’s sad but I live in a neighborhood where we get no trick or treaters so all the candy I get goes to waist.
Oohhh! Good one!
I agree! It’s not really tied to Samhain anymore; it’s just a commercial festival, so let the kids do it on the weekend.
For a long time in the U.S. it was a night of terrible and cruel pranks–mostly overturned outhouses–so I’m glad Halloween has gotten away from that but it really should be a weekend event.
Great words, Chris. Love the way you act your age.
We all have to find our ways to stay young.
It’s so simple a Republican could do it:
Make November 1st the forever-mentioned-but-never-enacted National Voting Holiday. That way, by November 2nd all the scary shit is behind us, zombies and politicians alike. ?
That’s a brilliant idea. It would also put voting day as far away from Thanksgiving as it could possibly get and still be in November.