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Marsha Maxwell

Trick or Treat Saturday or Sunday?

By October 12, 2010

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October 31st falls on a Sunday this year, which in Utah always brings up the question: Will the kids be trick-or-treating on Sunday, or on Saturday the 30th? Utah's predominant religion stresses Sunday Sabbath observance, and if public events are any indication, most area Halloween celebrations will take place Saturday night. Public Halloween parties will be on Saturday the 30th, and many area haunted houses and corn mazes will end their seasons that night.

Of course, some Utah residents will choose to trick-or-treat on Sunday the 31st, and many quick-thinking kids have already realized they might be able to get in two nights of trick-or-treating this year. Halloween fell on Sunday in 1999 and 2004, and in both of those years most Salt Lake area kids did their trick-or-treating Saturday night, with some going out on Sunday.

Salt Lake isn't the only city in the country where many people will trick-or-treat Saturday night rather than Sunday.  According to my About.com colleague Adam Knapp, Oklahoma City officials issued a proclamation this year declaring that Halloween festivities will take place on the 30th. For some reason, the officials also changed the term "trick-or-treating" to "Meet and Treat," maybe because it sounds less threatening. I just don't know how I'd react if a bunch of little future politicians shouted, "Meet and treat!" at my door on Halloween night.

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October 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm
(1) Laura Andrews says:

So…”The Church” is ALSO in charge of declaring when Utah children can go trick or treating?! We just moved into a new house and are looking forward to seeing all the neighborhood kids in costume. We have now learned that the Ward will provide “trunk or treat”. Thus eliminating the age old tradition of running from door to door yelling trick or treat…weird. My question is, however, when should we look for Trick or Treaters of OTHER or NO religion to knock on the door in their darling costumes and yell trick or treat? We assumed on Halloween. Thus, we planned accordingly.

October 26, 2010 at 10:20 am
(2) Todd Wikstrom says:

I am not from Utah but what I have noticed as I have traveled is that Utah is not the only state that invites people to observe the Lord’s Day. In the South you will find it very difficult to find a store open on Sunday. I think trunk or treating came about as a way to satisfy some of the youngest kids with trick or treating in a short amount of time. I know that trunk or treating in my neighborhood is a neighborhood activity, not a Ward activity. You will still see most kids trick or treating on Saturday night and you will probably see some on Sunday night. No one will turn kids away if they trick or treat on Sunday night. If you don’t want to pass out candy on Saturday night you can simply turn off your porch light.

October 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm
(3) E says:

It would just be nice to know, either way. We love passing out candy to the kids and we hate being the stinkers on the street with their lights out, but this seems to be getting a little silly. Can’t the city just pick an official day/time and post it online and in the papers, that way the kids know when to go out (without having lots of no lights)? Any other days would just be a bonus!

October 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm
(4) saltlakecity says:

For the most part, kids will probably be going out on Saturday, with a few going out on Sunday. I love answering the door for trick-or-treaters and wouldn’t turn them away either day. It’s the same in other religious/conservative parts of the country. And in most neighborhoods, the ward “trunk or treat” is a supplement to trick-or-treating and doesn’t replace it. I’ve lived in the Sandy/Draper area for fifteen years, and we have always had lots and lots of trick-or-treaters of all/any/no religion. I wrote the blog post with new people in mind, so they won’t be surprised at kids trick-or-treating on the 30th.

October 29, 2010 at 12:25 am
(5) have a safe halloween! says:

wellll…my thought about all this is that…halloween is october 31st…and it should be on that day…regardless of sabbath day…i’m mormon and proud to say that i am…but having faith and believing in god comes from deep within our souls…im sure trick or treating is not gona interfere with ur faith and belief in god…its jus confusing to have it on saturday…cuz then we’d have trick or treaters on sunday and theyd be goin to doors that r not ready for trick or treaters until sunday…then there will b people who dont want trick or treaters on sunday…it would be so sad for the kids…

October 29, 2010 at 12:28 am
(6) have a safe halloween! says:

oops i meant to say “cuz then we’d have trick or treaters on saturday and theyd be goin to doors that r not ready for trick or treaters until sunday”…lol

October 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(7) College Student says:

I agree, I am actually choosing to write a proposal paper on this topic because I feel that we should do something about it. First of all its not fair to kids who want to go trick or treating on the actual night of halloween, when most houses will have their porch lights off if they do not want to pass out candy on sunday (even though it is HALLOWEEN). I think it is ridiculous that we are denying children to celebrate on the actual holiday because it is a sunday. So should we not celebrate any other holiday if it just happens to fall on a sunday? I think that this new tradition is ridiculous and should be changed before the next time halloween falls on a sunday…I cannot believe that this has become an issue, it seems so immature and stupid.

October 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm
(8) BigCT says:

I just moved here from Portland Oregon… i remember in 2004 every one did their trick or treating on Saturday. I don’t think the Mormons have much to do with it. More just a general respect for the beliefs of others. Us Atheists could care less what day it falls on and are happy to go with the flow.

October 30, 2010 at 1:44 am
(9) LKWC says:

For people who are talking about “sepparation of Church and State”, the Church never came out and said what we should do. This happens to be a state that has a lot of LDS people, and some of the people have chosen not to trick or treat on a Sunday. I don’t see what the big deal is. We’re talking about what people are choosing to do. If you’re upset about it, go out and trick or treat on Sunday. Whether or not people have candy, I don’t think anyone will be upset at you knocking on their door. And again, if people don’t feel like passing out candy because it’s a Sunday, that is their right. Quit whining about it.

October 30, 2010 at 10:58 am
(10) Debbie says:

I grew up in a small town in the Midwest in the 70s and 80s. Other than a couple families there were no other Mormons. Trick-or-treating was always on Saturday when the holiday fell on a Sunday. Moving this holiday from Sunday to Saturday has happened for generations in multiple communities across the United States. That being said, I will hand out candy to Sunday trick-or-treaters too.

October 30, 2010 at 11:58 am
(11) Angela says:

Laura: Get a grip. It gets REALLY old hearing people get all pissy at the LDS church for stupid things that aren’t in their control. In case you weren’t aware they don’t actually control the government, I know it’s hard to believe for cynics like you, but I have been in other states where the same thing happened. So just enjoy the holiday and quit being such a negative nelly.

October 30, 2010 at 11:23 pm
(12) have a safe halloween! says:

well today i took my kids out for trick or treating and it sucked…not alot of people were answering there doors and so we decided to go to the nearest mall…and when we got there all the stores were out of candy…and it was only 7:15!…we thought they were schedule to start giving out candy at 7:00…so it took 15 minutes for them to run out of candy?..my guess was it was becuz there were too many people there…i know its becuz most homes werent giving out candy so everyone decided to hit the mall becuz they knew that they were giving out candy on this day…so they didnt have anough for everyone…so i took my kids home with sad faces…& it made me sad…but i guess we will try tomorow…see wut happens… :-(

October 31, 2010 at 12:03 am
(13) Marsha Maxwell says:

I had a freakishly small number of trick-or-treaters Saturday night, but I blamed the rain. The weather makes a huge difference. I have tons of candy left in case anyone comes tomorrow!

October 31, 2010 at 4:11 pm
(14) leslie says:

It seems like there’s a 50% chance of precipitation on Halloween every year. I think instead of worrying about the day it falls on worry more about the weather. I live in bountiful and only had 5 groups of kids knocking on my door yesterday. I think it should be planned out according to the weather since most kids don’t trick or treat long or at all when it’s raining. Even better just move the frickin’ day to October 13, that way it’s not that cold to trick or treat!

October 31, 2010 at 8:22 pm
(15) Laura Thompson says:

As a non-Chrisitan and non-Mormon, I find it insulting that our entire community has to abide by Mormon culture. Why should we all have to cater to a specific denomination’s religious practices? Aside from Neo-Pagans, Halloween is viewed as a secular holiday, so leave it alone and stop trying to turn it into something it isn’t like Christiany has done to every other holiday. Us secular folks are forced to recognize all of your holidays so do us a favor and let us keep ours on the days they were intended to be celebrated.

October 31, 2010 at 9:05 pm
(16) Carrie says:

Ok I tend to agree with Laura, from what I have read no one has been getting “PISSY!” The church and the LDS religion DO determine a lot that happens in utah. They really do. Even the 4th of July is celebrated on saturday if it falls on Sunday. That is as far as im concerned a Very important day for the whole country and do not feel in anyway that is should be against any religion or anything else to celebrate it on the day it is meant to be done. If any of you remembre when the Olympics were coming to Utah…It was the church leaders that tried to ban alcohol being served to LEGAL AGED ADULTS when that is something that has been part of the Olympics since they came to be. Why change it just because the mormons don’t like it? As a whole I am sorry but Utah is a very arrogant state full of Arrogant people that feel like their way is the only right way. Sorry, My opinion, and I have grown up here my whole life and am L.D.S. and I don’t even agree with some of the things that the church puts their hand in.

November 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm
(17) BeConsistent says:

What about when Christmas or Easter fall on Sunday? Make sure to open presents on Saturday, not Sunday. Would be kind of silly, kind of like trick-or-treating on a day that’s not Halloween!

November 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm
(18) SHELIA says:

Please study your bibles the sabith is saturday not sunday as mant religens would have you beleave. The sabith is the last day of the week not the first.

October 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm
(19) radical at large says:

All of this sounds like another tool of the christen right to control what they can’t destroy. In Utah the Mormon church controls everything, and if they say something is evil. They do away with it, or the tax the hell out of it to make a profit. I wish this forum was more in keeping church and state separate than why kids can’t enjoy a fun holiday without religious punishment.

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