Here it is, at long last — that spookiest, kookiest time of year. It’s the time of year when it is totally acceptable to leap out of bushes and scream at people, to go door-to-door demanding other people’s food, and to watch dumb monster movies. When wearing tons of makeup is socially acceptable and fashion sense takes a hiatus. It’s that time of year when finding a full-sized candy bar in your pillowcase is a cause for major celebration, having tombstones in your yard just makes you a good decorator and old gourds are on every doorstep. It’s Halloween.
There is a problem with Halloween, though. More so than any other holiday — aside from, arguably, Valentine’s Day — there is not much of a “season” to go along with the day. Yes, ABC Family might have started showing their old Halloween movies back in September, but the main event is Oct. 31, and that day only. That is the night when little kids dress up and venture forth in a quest for candy — and that is the night that everyone else dresses up and has fun in other, more mature (yeah, right) ways. Some parties do and will, of course, happen on other nights, but that last day in October is the only day that makes all the plastic skulls, fake blood and pumpkin-flavored everything feel sane.
And that’s the issue. Oct. 31 is the official date of Halloween, but that date most certainly does not always arrive at the most opportune time.
This year it falls on a Wednesday. The only holiday that is expressly devoted to staying up late on a sugar high, and it happens smack-dab in the middle of the work week. Not only that, but the second round of midterms will be cropping up next week. Wouldn’t it be great to be cramming for a midterm instead of hitting up a costume party?
The shortcomings of Oct. 31 as Halloween even extend past our fair campus. The little kids who go out trick-or-treating have early bedtimes for school during the week, so all those little vampires and skeletons have to head out earlier to get their candy-grabbing in. Some communities designate specific hours as trick-or-treating time, usually between 6 and 8 p.m. But with Wednesday being a work day, 6 p.m. is a time when a lot of people are driving back home from their day job, making the streets a little dangerous for hordes of unruly children.
It is not as though other holidays are not tied to days rather than dates. Thanksgiving, our next big holiday, happens to not care what the number of the day is. It is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. Organizational schedules for days off do not need to change from year-to-year, everyone uses the Friday after as a recovery day from overeating, and those two days — plus the weekend — give families time to visit each other and catch up. If, on the other hand, Thanksgiving was on a specific date every year, then the holiday wouldn’t carry the same weight that it does now. Halloween is not as important as Thanksgiving.
But the celebration of Thanksgiving is made that much better and easier to plan by its consistency.
Imagine if Halloween was on a Saturday night every year. There would be far fewer obstacles to celebrating it than there are on a Wednesday night during midterms, especially if the football game was a day game.
I suppose the time can never be truly perfect for a holiday to come along. After all, dropping everything to dress like a zombie and run around the neighborhood is hard to accommodate in your weekly schedule.
But Halloween is a carefree time of parties and candy for all that answer its sweet siren call. The least it could do is be on a night that I won’t feel guilty staying up late on.
Garrett Cimina is a freshman majoring in finance and is The Daily Collegian’s Monday columnist. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.