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. Jennifer

    I think that people can have fun on Halloween and have festivals and there be lots of games and just having fun

    October 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  2. Don

    Lol. "Devout" Christians find a way to ruin everything, don't they... Halloween is on Sunday, and thats when candy will be served. Any children arriving on Saturday will be politely turned away empty handed. Poor little things can't help it they're being brainwashed into the next generation of zealots. II won't say I'll be as nice to their idiot parents.

    Someone should take a lawsuit to those towns for imposing their religious BS on everyone.

    October 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • Sixmom

      So how does that make you any different than the "zealots" who won't pass it out on Sunday? I mean if you refuse to do it on one night or the other, your zealous about something, like the sacred number 31? The world is our mirror. I went and bought a bag of Snickers yesterday for the ones who come to our door on Sunday, but my 16 yr old just ate the whole thing last night. Anyone have teenagers?

      October 29, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Frogist

      LOL@ Sixmom: Don't have teenagers. Have one husband who doesn't understand limits... when it comes to candy anwyay. I'm amazed I had any left today. And I agree with what you said to Don.
      @Don: Come on! It's kids and candy! Let them have fun either day! Unless they don't have a costume... then no candy for them!

      October 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  3. Michelle

    My sisters and I will be taking our kids Trick or Treating on the 31st, as always. And the curches in our area don't have a problem with it. In fact, they are not having their regular Sunday night services, and will instead be hosting Fall Festivals on Sunday for Halloween. Trunk or Treating, games, hayrides, bounce houses, food, and TONS of candy.

    October 28, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  4. Alice

    Holy Toledo! My family is Roman Catholic and we are going out trick or trating on Sunday night with our friends – the Muslim Family.

    What is this world coming to, now????!!!!

    October 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • NL

      Don't take it personally, it's just another maneuver by the other christians to set themselves apart from the 'unsaved', just like boycotting Harry Potter books and concerts where bands play music that you can actually dance to. 😉

      Funny, a lot of the neighborhood kids who come around here are actually Hindu. Halloween is about as secular as Christmas these days.

      October 28, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  5. Jay

    And further more as a CHRISTIAN. I dont engage in ANY holidays with pagans roots.

    October 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
    • JT

      I guess that leaves only MLK birthday.

      October 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • Jay

      Nope.. Birthdays are also rooted in paganism and what most people dont know, satanism. One of the tenets of satanism is that a person can become a god if they choose to, and so the birthday is viewed as a day a person becomes reborn to a god unto himself... People then worship that person in bowing down, singing and bringing gift offerings.

      The candles are symbolic of ancient pagan practices of lighting "sacred poles" with fire for offerings to said "god". In ancient times when the wind would blow and the fires would go out it would show the "gods" approval.. hence the practice of blowing out candles...

      So no.. birthday celebrations are a no go for me and those like me. It should be mentioned the only two birthdays mentioned in the bible are not viewed well.. At both a person was killed (not to mention that at the second one mentioned the person killed was Jesus' own cousin)....

      October 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
    • Run4DaHills

      So, that means you don't observe Christmas, Easter or numerous other holidays hijacked and renamed by the Christian church? Christmas and Easter are not Christian holidays in origin. Do some research, with your blinders removed, you'll learn something about your religion.

      October 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  6. Jay

    Matthew 4:10

    Then Jesus said to him: "Go AWAY SATAN! For it is written; It is Jehovah you God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service"

    So you FALSE CHRISTIANS, how long will you continue to worship satan for "fun". How long will you deny Christ your lord and savior?? The bible condemns witchcraft, demonism and paganism.

    This is not a question for Atheists. We all know their stand. But anyone calling themselves "christian" would engage in celebrating halloween has NOT come to know Christ, and is a FLASE CHRISTIAN. How could a "christian" glorify the devil for any reason??


    October 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Amelia

      Pot or Kettle Judgey-McJudger Pants?

      October 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Praise the Lard

      Booohaaaaaaaaaahhaaaabooooo! Religion is scarier than any costume you will run into during Halloween. Yo man... what is up with the all caps? Did Jesus tell you to do that?

      October 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
    • Jay

      LOL... Caps? Hey.. i just get tired of all the religious ZEALOTS out there who say they practice something and then do something they shouldnt. Like its known to be said...

      "The problem isnt with christianity, its with you christians..."

      - Ghandi -


      October 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • Jay

      @Amelia - LOL -

      Thats cute... Thats sounds like something i would say. Im a little over weight so i joke around and call myself a "Fatty McFat Face"

      October 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
    • JT

      I must also add that anyone who puts up a tree on baby Jesus' birthday and/or burn a yule log are following pagan traditions and are essentially worshiping Satan! I'm glad I'm one of the very few who can call myself a True Christian®.

      October 28, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jay

      The bible give us no indication of Jesus birthday, only his death. Jesus never said celebrate his birth but he did command his disciples to remember his sacrificial death.

      Apostasy, the desire to convert pagans, keep the word of truth away from common people, and the POWER of the church, AFTER the death of Jesus' apostles is what has created todays counterfeit christianity today.

      Its one of the many things people use against religion.. the inquisition, the crusades and so on....

      October 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said, "Im a little over weight so i joke around and call myself a "Fatty McFat Face"

      Boy, I can understand Jay.

      There was this woman in my church. She passed on now. She must have weighed 500 pounds. She'd come on Sunday, sit in a pew all by herself and pass gas. We had to space the pews farther apart to accommodate her fat ass. We'd see her coming and we'd open the windows, even in the dead of winter. She was one nasty woman.

      We used send Jehovah Witnesses to her house, hoping she'd join their church.

      When she finally passed away, her family couldn't afford the really large coffin that she needed. So, they bought a regular sized one and then jammed her in it. Everyone prayed the coffin lid would hold for the services. No one wanted to her come gushing out like a demented jack in the box. Well to make a long story short, prayer did work and the lid held. We finally got her in the ground.

      I guess we will see her, when we all get the Heaven. I sure hope she has quit passing gas by then.

      Happy Trails!

      October 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
    • Jay

      LMBO.. Oh thats terrible LOL....

      October 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • Jay


      Im not THAT fat.. 35 lbs over at most.. LOL... but a fat person dying in your midst.. yea.. that will stink for real.... :-/ in the end though thats a sad story.... 🙁

      October 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  7. Jay


    “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.

    So.. Shes basically saying, We'll participate in a PAGAN, SATANIC RITUAL holiday earlier in the week. But we'll turn to Christ for Sunday. HYPOCRITE!!!

    No TRUE CHRISTIAN, would EVER be associated with or TOUCH ANYTHING that glorifies SATAN THE DEVIL. The father of the lie, enemy of truth!

    You will be JUDGED for your hypocrisy! Jesus comes as Gods executioner. He will say to you,


    October 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  8. OzoneRanger

    People, if you start down this slippery slope of moving Halloween, soon it will be the Super Bowl!! We can NOT let that happen!!

    October 28, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  9. JT

    If parents want to send their spawns of Satan out on Sunday I will be ready for them and make them pay for making baby Jesus cry. On Sunday I am turning my house into one of those Christian Hell House displays. I will have on display all the debauchery of the day. I will invite the little devils in and make them view Satan spawned atheist scientists butchering babies as they do their Stem Cell Research work. I will make them view racks of test tubes holding microscopic zygotes. I will also stuff Chick tracts in their bags as they leave in terror. They will be begging for salvation by the time I'm done with them. Glory!!!

    October 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Sixmom

      Parking lot "Trunk or Treat" is sounding better all the time.

      October 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • Jay

      Dude thats SICK..... Traumatizing little children, IN THE NAME OF GOD????.... Thats just sick....

      October 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  10. Disgusted

    @ Amelia, you are right the bible says not to judge. God will do the judging. All I am saying is do some research to know the truth about that day. That is not judging. The bible also says that we all (sinners and non sinners, Christians and non Christians) will have to bow before Him on judgement day. So at that time we all will have to answer to Him as to why we chose to do the things we did here on this Earth.

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

      PAGAN does not a Satanist make.

      I'm just sayin'.

      October 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  11. Texas Web

    We'll be in our family room watching movies with our light Porch turn OFF. It'll be dark in front of the house.

    October 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  12. JT

    I can't wait until the supersti-tious gene finally evolves out of the human gene pool. Christians never stop trying to drag us back to their dark ages. If anyone knocks on my door Saturday night wearing some costume I will assume I'm getting robbed and will call the cops. If you come by Sunday night I'll be handing out goodies.

    October 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  13. kat george

    Yes, according to my mother and her church god did publish the bible. I hear the founder of the church does have a signed copy but it is only brought out for special events like when halloween falls on sunday.

    Isn't saying OMG an oxymoron for your thread persona today? Lol! Yes, I am left-handed and made a sign to the computer screen just for you, but it wasn't the cross ;-).

    No actually have laughed this hard in a long time. And thanks for @thinkitsayit for standing up for me. My kight in shinning armor.

    I think this year I'll dress up as rosie o'donnell and hit @inkcetedgamer's home. Anyone want to come with??

    October 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @kat george

      You said, "Yes, according to my mother and her church god did publish the bible. I hear the founder of the church does have a signed copy but it is only brought out for special events like when halloween falls on sunday."

      WoW! I must have missed something. I wasn't aware Jesus did any book signings...

      October 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
    • Frogist

      @kat george: Well I am wearing my Jacob from Twilight costume today. I know technically he's not gay, but if I can find a hot Harry Potter, it'll be on! What's better than some male on male wizard beastiality to get the day off right?

      October 29, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  14. Ohio is special

    Kids in central Ohio will be trick-or-treating tonight. Thursday. Mostly from 6-8pm but precise times and days vary by city.

    October 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  15. Kris

    David Johnson, sorry I yelled at you earlier, I didn't catch your satire. I thought you were for real. Duh!

    October 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  16. Frodo the Festive One

    I don't know about you all, but in my family, we simply go to mass on Sunday and then carry on with our normal day. In my opinion, sometimes you need to loosen up...I know loads of good Christian families just like my own that have no problem sending their kids off for trick-or-treating on Sunday. It's just an fun event. You don't always need to worry about the supposed deeper meanings of holidays. It's not the end of the world if you let your kids get some candy on Halloween.

    October 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  17. Run4DaHills

    Let's move New Year's Eve to , say, the 5th of January, shall we? Oh, and Christmas just needs to be moved to always be on a Sunday. Please, people, Halloween is OCTOBER 31st – no matter what day of the week you pretend it's on. Halloween & Trick-or-Treating ON HALLOWEEN is TRADITION. If folks want two days of Trick-or-Treating then, that's another thing but just because it falls on a Sunday shouldn't automatically, make it a toss up as to which alternative day it should be on. Certain churches are just trying to make it confusing – on purpose.

    October 28, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  18. Jessica

    My boyfriend and I will be taking our 2-year-old Darth Vader trick-or-treating on Sunday because Sunday is Halloween. If kids show up on Saturday we'll give them candy... it's not their fault their parents are fun-haters on Sundays.

    I love holidays, pagan or not, because they give you a reason to break out of the norm and do something fun as a family that will leave lasting memories for you and your children. Who cares what day of the week they fall on?

    October 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Jessica: Excellent sentiment! Bravo to you and your family! I hope little Anakin enjoys himself.

      October 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  19. Lisaspups

    I am not an atheist, but I consider myself more spiritual than religious. I hate to break it to the "Christians" who claim that Halloween was created by the church. It was not. Halloween does not mean "All Saints Eve" anything. It means "All Hallows Eve", the night before "All Hallow Day", and was originally a pagan holiday and the art of dressing up was part of a pagan ritual to ward off evil spirits. The church usurped it in order to indoctrinate the masses, much like they did Christmas.

    October 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  20. Disgusted

    I cannot pelieve that people who call themselves Christains can use the word Halloween and Christian in the same content. There is nothing religeous about Halloween. Jesus celebrated LIFE not DEATH. And to call it a HOLIDAY. Oh, please, give me a break. Do some research on Halloween and get a revelation on what that occassion is about. And for the churches that use it as an excuse to call it 'Angel Night' or 'Hallelujah Fest' to keep the children from going trick or treat, you are fooling yourselves. What you should be doing is teaching your congregation about what Halloween entails so they will know the truth and stop acknowledging that that day even exists. Out of sight, Out of mind. If you want your children to have some candy, go to the store and buy them some.

    October 28, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
    • Amelia

      Are you the Pot or the Kettle? Just so I know which role to play.

      Jesus also said "Don't Judge" and there you go, being a Judgy-McJudger-Pants

      October 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • Pagan John

      While you're at it, do some research into why rabbits and eggs are so prevalent around Easter, and why trees and wreaths are so prevalent around Christmas. You're welcome.

      There's nothing wrong with a holiday to recognize death, as it is a fundamental part of life. Birth and death are two things that happen to everyone. We pagans have days to recognize the rebirth of the world and the new year, festivals of fertility, festivals of fire, festivals of the harvest, and festivals of life and of death. These are the things that were crucially important in an agrarian society.

      The Christian church I went to growing up had a "Noah's Ark Party" as an alternative to Halloween, you could go as an animal from Noah's Ark, or as any other biblical figure. I was fond of Moses, personally.

      October 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Pagan John

      You said, "While you're at it, do some research into why rabbits and eggs are so prevalent around Easter, and why trees and wreaths are so prevalent around Christmas".

      The eggs and trees are evidence for there being an Easter Bunny and a Santa Claus. How could these eggs and these trees decorate themselves? There must be a designer! And that designer is a Bunny and a Fat Elf!

      There is not enough evidence for me to be a doubter of the Bunny and the Santa!

      kjjfakffjfdfjf – Me speaking in tongues!

      Why can you non-believers, not see the truth!

      October 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Christ Bro... LOL..!!!

      October 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • Frogist

      @DJ: I think you just converted Peace2all!

      October 29, 2010 at 4:46 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.