Trick or Treating Debate, Saturday or Sunday?
October 28th, 2010
08:40 AM ET

Trick or Treating Debate, Saturday or Sunday?

Editor's Note: CNN's Kelly Marshall Smoot files this report from Washington, DC.

There is a bit of a controversy brewing in this year’s Halloween cauldron over when to Trick or Treat. Each October 31st, little vampires, witches, ballerinas, and astronauts know it is time to head outside to fill their baskets, pillow cases, and buckets with candy.

But what happens when Halloween falls on a Sunday?

Some towns across the country have officially changed their Trick or Treating night to Saturday, some families are opting to keep their kids home, and others say the night provides a good opportunity to get out and meet your neighbors.

When are you celebrating Halloween?

In Boston, Massachusetts, the Turleys are taking their kids to three different Halloween activities earlier in the week but will stay home on Sunday.

“Because of our religious beliefs, our family has decided that Sunday should be focused on Christ and we feel that Halloween would distract us from our focus,” said Brittany Turley.

Turley’s little Fairy, Buzz Lightyear, and Dinosaur costumed children might miss out on the Sunday door-to-door Trick or Treating activities but she doesn’t think they will mind. “Our small children are flexible and they will understand. If anything, they will be burned out by Halloween,” she said.

Amy Null of Sierra Vista, Arizona, agrees. She loves Halloween but says it is too irreverent to Trick or Treat on Sunday. “I think it's perfectly fine for Halloween, or any other non-religious holiday, to be celebrated on Saturday instead of Sunday,” she said.

Caroline Bingham, author of The Bingham Diaries and Mormon Mommy Blogs lives in Virginia and plans to take her kids Trick or Treating on Sunday.

“I don’t have any issue with having it on Saturday or Sunday,” she said. “I think it is fun and a great neighborhood activity.”

Bingham recently polled her blog readers about whether they planned to Trick or Treat on Saturday or Sunday. The results surprised her and she said there was no middle ground in the responses she received.

Bingham said a lot of her readers were against celebrating Halloween on Sunday and felt that the holiday itself is evil and that those on the other side of the argument saw Halloween and Trick or Treating as a way to connect with friends and neighbors.

“What could be more Christ-like than getting out and getting to know your neighbors?” asked Bingham.

Some towns, like Covington, Virginia, and Sulphur, Louisiana, however made the Trick or Treating decision for their residents.

Covington took the matter to its City Council and in a 4-1 vote, declared the night for Trick or Treating was Saturday, a choice this city also made the last time Halloween fell on a Sunday.

Rob Bennett is Covington’s Mayor and a science teacher at the local high school who said he heard from a lot of residents who thought Saturday would be a better night for Trick or Treating.

“We can’t change the day of Halloween but we can change the day we Trick or Treat,” said Bennett.

Bennett explained all but one the churches in Covington were planning big Halloween activities on Saturday and that they didn’t want to cancel Sunday evening services so that people could stay home to greet the Trick or Treaters.

“Our town is pretty faith based and I’ve not had one email or call from anyone upset that we changed Trick or Treat,” said Bennett.

The city of Sulphur, Louisiana, voted to hold Trick or Treating festivities on Saturday for more secular reasons, including the fact that Sunday is a school night and the change to Daylight Savings is later this year.

Assistant City Manager, Wes Smith said they received hundreds of calls from citizens who wanted the change but admitted that if Halloween was on a Monday or Tuesday, the city probably would not have changed it.

“Sunday nights are not what they used to be growing up so I don’t think religion is as big of an issue, the school night would have been the majority concern,” said Smith. However, he said he was glad for the change for personal reasons. “I’ve got kids and I’m a lot happier going out on Saturday than Sunday,” he said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • United States

soundoff (348 Responses)
  1. Jim Su

    Are you guys serious? Isn't it time that we've had enough of religion? The only issue with Halloween being on Sunday this year is that the kids will have to get up early the next morning and go to school. It would be easier to do it on Saturday becasue of that. Church, religion of any sort – what a huge waste of time and energy!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • JT

      Incorrect. The reason Evangelical FunDUHmentalist Christians do not want to celebrate Halloween on Sunday is because it will upset baby Jesus. Note that this is never an issue when Halloween is on any of the other six days when school is the next day. Of course the most rabid fundies do not celebrate the holiday at all regardless of what day it falls on.

      October 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  2. Jane

    "Amy Null of Sierra Vista, Arizona, agrees. She loves Halloween but says it is too irreverent to Trick or Treat on Sunday. “I think it's perfectly fine for Halloween, or any other non-religious holiday, to be celebrated on Saturday instead of Sunday,” she said."

    Halloween is based in religion. It started with the pagan culture. Common traditions on Halloween have those contexts.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  3. kat george


    One thing I've learned about folks with fund views:
    They can't be swayed. My mom would just say its "the devil deceiving you" or
    "You can't trust anything not of god" (and I don't think he has published anything since the bible).
    So, I take it for what it is. I love her the best I can and let go of things I cannot change.


    Reading your comments made me tingle as well! Lol.
    Cheers, kat

    October 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
    • Really!

      God published the Bible??? Really? I guess I missed that book signing at Chapters!

      October 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  4. Agnostic_catholic1994

    Not to sound "BLASPHEMOUS" but wasn't Jesus a Zombie and a ghost technically?
    Wasn't his death torturous and bloddy?
    Isn't that what Halloweens about?

    October 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • David Johnson

      No, that is a rumor started by the godless atheists who haunt these sacred blogs. Why won't they just leave us alone?

      October 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  5. Brian

    Honestly I would be more concerned with Drunk Drivers on a Saturday rather than the religious implications. Who am I to say anything we are doing Trick or Treat on Friday anyway

    October 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  6. Jennifer

    You religious nuts are killing me here. All Hallow's Eve (aka Halloween) is not about your devil. Celebrating or allowing your kids to celebrate Halloween is not "devil worshiping". The original meaning behind All Hallow's Eve has been distorted throughout the ages so much that it no longer even resembles what was originally celebrated. Modern Halloween is a commercial holiday that is all about the candy and who has the better costume.

    Dressing up, carving pumpkins...all of this is done to "ward off" evil spirits, to....scare them away. NOT bring them closer. But you fanatics are so uptight that your panties are coming out the back of your throat. You are so insecure in your own religion that you feel the need to make something that was once a beautiful celebration into something dirty and nasty. Maybe before you go pointing fingers and accusing others of something, you should take a good, hard look at yourself first. Did your Jesus not say "He who is without sin cast the first stone"?

    October 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • David Johnson

      I will pray for you Jennifer.

      Jesus is probably fond of you.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  7. Sixmom

    It seems where the holidays come from are a mute point. What really matters is what does it mean to you today, what is the spirit and intent behind it for you personally. The question really just boils down to what keeping the Sabbath day means to you as an individual. If it doesn't matter to you. Then Sunday or not, it simply doesn't make a difference. If the phrase "keep the Sabbath Day holy" means something to you, then it is worth a second look. For our family, it is the Lord's day and a day to get closer to Heavenly Father. We treat it differently than other days. So we hold off on the parties, the shopping, the movies, the sports, etc. and try to fill it with activities that increase our spirituality. I love Halloween, it's one of my favorite holidays. People mingle and have more fun when they're in costumes. It's a chance for my children to be a princess or a pirate for a day. Of course they love the candy. We'll have Halloween fun on Saturday along with a bunch of other families and we'll have hyper, sugar-shocked kids in church on Sunday. And we're OK with that. Sabbath devotion is a private thing. It's all just between you and God anyways. No one else.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
    • maggie

      If you pick up something from the garbage, not matter how you clean it up, it is still from the garbage.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
    • Mykol

      You could push your MUTE button if it's a Mute point.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Sixmom

      Got me... *moot

      October 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Sixmom

      @maggie Not sure which is from the garbage...Halloween or being religious? Or something else? I guess one man's junk is another man's treasure and who is to say which is right? It is perspective, we all create our own reality.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • Megatron

      @sixxmom No, religious people create their own reality. People who don't have faith are SHOWN reality. 🙂

      October 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Sixmom

      I bow to your superior reasoning. Of course, why didn't I see that!!??

      October 28, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Sixmom

      “What could be more Christ-like than getting out and getting to know your neighbors?” asked Bingham...so which part is Christ-like? The costumes or begging for candy? Sounds like rationalization to me. My neighbors appreciate help, a kind word, a home-cooked meal, visits to the hospital...but partying on the Sabbath? That rationale is not truly representative of most of the LDS families I know here in Southern Oregon.

      October 29, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  8. kinectedgamer

    I love how everyone is hating on the chrisitans, but you know if I said something sarcastic about gay people then they would all start griping about me, how I shouldn't make fun of the "gay" crowd. Americas society today is filled with a bunch of hypocrites. But back on subject, everyone has their own choice, they can either celebrate halloween or not, it doesn't matter, it's not like the world is going to end if they do or don't.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • David Johnson


      How do you know the world won't end? What if Jesus decides to come back that very night? You standing there in your devil costume...

      October 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • kinectedgamer

      @ David Johnson maybe you need to learn how to read? I never said I was celebrating it, I said people have a choice, just like how Jesus gives everyone choice to follow him. BTW, I'm a southern baptist, don't be to quick to judge there David.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Sixmom

      @kinected David is yanking your chain. He reads very well actually. I'm guessing atheist.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
    • Megatron

      @kinecktedgamer You can choose religion, you cannot choose being gay. If you weren't mentally retarded you'd already know the difference.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • kinectedgamer

      @ Megatron, okay yeah you know what you do have a choice. Someone I knew was straight, had kids and everything else, decided she was tired of being straight and went gay. It is a choice, but I was talking about the choice of celebrating halloween or not. Do people not read these days? I believe they all assume.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • civilioutside

      I'm sure you meant to say "got tired of pretending that she was straight."

      October 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
    • star

      You're kidding right? Why fundamentalists get made fun of is because they expect the world to change and follow their own rules, despite what others may think. You don't see gays and lesbians running around forcing people to tongue-kiss them, do you???

      October 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      " I never said I was celebrating it, I said people have a choice, just like how Jesus gives everyone choice to follow him. BTW, I'm a southern baptist, don't be to quick to judge there David."

      It's okay kinectedgamer. We have people in my church who have back slid. Jesus will always welcome you back.

      Sister Blanche couldn't stay away from the men. We must have dunked her a dozen times, trying to get that demon out of her. Never did a damn bit of good.

      The minute the sailors would dock, for shore leave, there went Sister Blanche. Loosest woman I ever did see.

      But boy could she praise the lord! She would get to talkin' in tongues and pretty soon the whole congregation would be singin' and shoutin'.

      So don't worry brother kinectedgamer. Dressin' up like the devil is a small sin. No reason to get mad at me over it.

      Jesus Saves @ Safeway! LOL

      October 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • kinectedgamer

      @ Megatron so are you comparing gay people and mentally retarded people and saying they are the same?

      People are not born gay. Simple as that, and no she didn't get tired of pretending, she wasn't born saying hey I'm gay. If people were born gay then we would have five year olds running around saying they are gay. People need to use their brain and think.

      October 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said, " You don't see gays and lesbians running around forcing people to tongue-kiss them, do you???"

      Hmm...Actually two cute girls tongue-kissing isn't such a bad thought. If they forced me, I could probably be made to participate.

      Understand that I would be doing this only, to show them how wrong they are. I would be showing them the love of Jesus.

      I heard you can cure lesbians by holding them and comforting them. Always with Jesus in my heart!

      October 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Uh... just for the record, 5 year olds don't typically go around screaming that they are 'straight,' either.

      October 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • kinectedgamer

      @ David Johnston It is people like you that turn people away from God, they see you and stereotype the rest of us. It is nice to know you will burn in hell because thats where hypocrites go, is it not brother david? You are to quick to judge other people, too quick at making things up about others and too busy gossiping about other people then to devote your time to walk with the lord, shame on you brother David. lol

      October 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
    • kinectedgamer

      @ Peace2all My example follows: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20020554-503543.html

      Research things my friend.

      October 28, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Yep, I would be with David so as to help 'cure' the 'cute' lesbian sinners.

      @David Johnson

      Yep, I have heard as well that the best way to cure 'cute' lesbians anyway from their sins is to 'hold them' while having Jesus your heart 🙂 I will be going forth to 'help' them today as a matter of fact.

      October 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
    • Peace2All


      YOU SAID-–

      "@ Peace2all My example follows: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20020554-503543.html

      Research things my friend."

      ME--- Thanks for providing a link. I went to it... read the article, and your link... well... 'sucks' as far as asserting 'any' proof. You're kidding right...? That article had absolutely 'nothing' to do with your comment and my response. In a country such as Syria, where they are already arranging marriages when they are barely out of the womb...!

      Children often have crushes at that age.... Oh, by the way... gays do too, just in case ya' didn't know.

      Children at that age begin to display tendencies... either 'straight' or 'gay.' There have been a number of programs discussing this very subject of children being 'born' the way they are.

      Do you actually know 'any' 'truly' gay people. I do, and every one of them talks about the *fact* that they have always known they were gay.

      So, I do research things @kinectedgamer..... Obviously, a lot more than you do, as your link has 'nothing' to do with the topic at hand of children being born gay or straight. And your comment/s show your prejudice and ignorance.

      Good try though.... Thank you for playing... Carol has some delightful parting gifts for you...!

      October 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
    • JT

      Oh...I'm glad you brought up the freewill thing because everyone has a choice. Jesus gave us freewill and a choice; "believe in and worship me or burn for eternity". I've made my choice and can proudly proclaim that I'm a True Christian®.

      October 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • JT

      @kinectedgamer, are you really Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? He said there were no such thing as a gay Iranian. You crafty little devil you.

      October 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • Frogist

      @kinectedgamer: Here's something for you to try. Go to your gay female friend and ask her if when she was growing up did she have feelings for other little girls. Practically every gay person you ever meet, knew when they were little boys and girls that they were different even if they didn't share it with anyone.

      October 28, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  9. Cindy

    I was in favor of moving Halloween to the last saturday of October, but now i have changed my mine. Halloween has always been on October31st. Those who dont want it on Sunday just shut your door and keep your light out. We will go to the ne...xt house. Maybe those who thinks its the Devils day need to research and educate themselves. You trick or treated as a child growing up and now its not good enough for you cause you found God or what ever. I have found God and I do belive in my faith, but if you look at things properly you have a "Trunk or Treat" or "Harvest Festival" so really you need to make a choice. Do it or Dont do it. As far as Sunday be for the family I dont know about others but my children love spending the day with his family and making cookies and handing out treats and going trick or treating..........So I have decided that Halloween has, will and should stay on October 31. I enjoy making it a family day around my house!!!!!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN ON OCTOBER 31 SEE YOU TRICK OR TREATING

    October 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  10. Jimmy Common

    Even the Sabbath has been changed.
    If you read the 10 commandants its states the 7th day which is Saturday not Sunday.
    Hebrew Shabbat (Saturday/Sabbath)
    Hebrew reeshon (Sunday), why are the words different because Sunday was the day to worship the pagan sun god. It was also the day Jesus was resurrected so in order to more easily convert more pegans Sunday became the new Sabbath.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  11. Mykol

    Dear Jesus:

    If Trick or Treating is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

    Love, Mykol

    October 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  12. Rhyan

    I'm handing out BIBLES to the heathens that knock on my door.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • David Johnson


      My church had a similar fund raising idea. We were going to have the King James printed on the sheets of toilet paper. People could sit and read the word. Sister Bertha says that's the only time she has to read.

      At any rate, this idea is bound to make more money than that "Jesus On A Stick" corn dog idea Brother Carl had.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • Megatron

      Why? The heathens probably know more about the bible then you do! 🙂

      October 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
    • Mykol

      I'd buy a Jesus on a Stick.

      October 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • cookie

      I just need to know when to get my tainted candy ready for distribution....so which will it be? Saturday (the SABBATH), or Sunday (the day AFTER the Sabbath)? You silly Christians need to make up your minds.

      October 28, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
    • David Johnson


      "I'd buy a Jesus on a Stick."

      So would Raison. *sigh*

      October 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • Frogist

      Jesus on a stick is about as bad as chocolate crucifixes on Easter. How are you supposed to bite the heads off those? Without incurring a heaping helping of guilt?

      October 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      LOL. I've been laughing my ass off all the way down this thread! Thx, DJ! That "Jesus on a stick" sounds good. No mustard or ketchup, pls. I would buy one, yes. Probably two or three, actually. 😀

      October 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
  13. Honesty

    Oh they're a self-centered bunch all right. They want us to celebrate their holidays and then get angry when we don't celebrate it on their terms. Buying presents is "too commercial", hiding Easter eggs has "Pagan roots". But please, sleep with as many people as you like, get divorced over and over again, gossip, put others down and it's a-okay- as long as you go to church on Sunday! But even if you don't, it's still okay, because you claim to be Christian!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • ThinkItSayIt

      AMEN! ... for lack of a better word 🙂

      October 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  14. Skyy

    Why are we teaching children not to talk to strangers or accept anything from strangers, then, for some moronic reason, we turn them loose in random neighborhoods once a year and tell them to get whatever is offered from strangers!! No logig whatsoever!!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  15. gxm17

    So, what about the religions that celebrate their Sabbath (or Sabbath equivalent) on Saturday? It is mind boggling that Christians would be so self-absorbed that they'd shift the Halloween celebration from their Sabbath to another believer's Sabbath. Un-freakin'-believable! If you don't want to celebrate Halloween on the day it falls on, fine. But don't ask the rest of the community to accommodate one religion's preference. How much more self-centered can you get!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • Jenni

      For lack of an appropriate secular phrase...hallelujah! Well said, gxm17.

      October 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
    • Frogist

      @gxm17: Thanks for that. I hadn't thought of it that way.

      October 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  16. Jimmy Common

    Whats the big Deal Christmas is celebrated on Saturnalia and Sol Invictus pagan holy days.
    Even Easter was originally a pagan holy day, Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre) a Saxon goddess.

    All Christian holidays are rooted in ancient European pagan religions. Similar to Vodun In Haiti and Santeria in Puerto Rico.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  17. kidd

    technically, a sabbath begins after sundown the evening before and ends at sundown that day, so trick or treating is not breaking the sabbath. celebrating halloween is a separate issue. and a contentious one in all religious circles.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  18. Honesty

    @ Kat George
    What kind of religion berates you for being born on a certain day and being left handed? That's ridiculous. It hurts, I'm sure, that your family is acting this way, but at least you're sane. That says something

    October 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • David Johnson

      OMG! I didn't know she was left handed!

      Quickly, everyone make the sign of the cross on your computer screens. Does anyone have any stones?

      October 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • Mykol

      Where's my holy water when I need it?

      October 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Frogist

      @DJ: You obviously have some... some big ones!

      BTW I'm all out of stones and holy water. But you can have these pop rocks and soda... I hear they can kill!

      October 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  19. kat george

    Another thought on subject.
    When I went to church as a kid they had halloween parties; is that not done anymore since we were inviting satan right into god's house?
    And do you think it confuses the devil & his demons when coustumes include angels? Inquiring minds want to know these things.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • Frogist

      @kat george: Well of course the angels are really demons anyway. They just dress that way to get more candy from the christian houses.

      October 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  20. Josh Morales

    “We can’t change the day of Halloween but we can change the day we Trick or Treat,” I if you really think the holiday is so evil it is wrong to celebrate it on sunday then don't celebrate it at all respect the pagan holiday how would Christian's like it a group of people changed the day to celebrate christmas how would you are other Christian's react it would not be the same way as every one is agreeing with this article on celebrating Halloween on saturday.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.