Monday, November 1, 2010

Moving Halloween

I hope everybody had a happy Halloween. I know I enjoyed the holiday, but living in Utah, there was an annoying aspect to the whole thing. All the little trick or treaters here were sent out on their quest for candy on Saturday, October 30th. This was done on the assumption that somebody might object to anything interesting happening on a Sunday. This is annoying on a number of levels:

First, who made this decision? Was there some public meeting that I missed where there was a town hall style vote that decided to move trick or treating back a day? I think that this was a reactionary decision made behind closed doors without much, if any, public input. Lighten up people, it's only a Sunday.

Second, it creates an environment where one religious denomination is seen to dominate the scene. You don't see holidays that fall on a Saturday rescheduled to accommodate Seventh Day Adventists or Jews, and I don't think anybody asked the Islamic community if they wanted Friday to be immune from the intrusion of holidays. This is Utah, so I don't need to call out the religious majority by name, you know who you are. Unfortunately, there is a significant portion of this state's population that would be very comfortable with the implication that the state is set up to accommodate a single religious denomination.

Third, rescheduling a holiday implies that it is unimportant. While a lot of people might feel alright with Halloween being moved back a day, it is an entirely different matter when a holiday like Independence Day, is moved around to accommodate the whims of a single group of people. Moving the July 4th celebrations to a different day sends the message that the reason for the celebration is not important. Forget the founding fathers, the revolutionary war and all the people who have fought and died to preserve the freedoms enjoyed by the citizens of the United States, some people don't want to be inconvenienced.

One lighthearted observation related to the rescheduling of Halloween. By sending the trick or treaters out on October 30th, the good residents of Utah are sending their children out on Devil's night, happy Devil's night kiddies. Of course, a great number of those children don't get to go door to door, they get shuffled off to a trunk or treat event. Ah yes, trunk or treating, yet one more xenophobic thing further deteriorating what little neighborhood cohesion still exists. Forget going door to door and having at least some interaction with your neighbors, have a specific invited group of people show up in a parking lot and only let their children interact with those people. I know parents have a fear of stranger danger, but it really is an irrational fear. The children are in more danger on the drive to and from the trunk or treat event than they are from any candy they might receive from strangers going trick or treating, old school style. In summary, a once a week event should not trump a once a year event and your neighbors are good people, let the kids go trick or treating.

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