Should Utahns trick-or-treat on Saturday or Sunday? Here’s what you think.

Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, causing some disagreement about when the holiday should be celebrated

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Houses sign up to participate in the SugarHood Halloween treat giving or a visual scavenger hunt as participants agree to abide by CDC Covid safety standards as they encourage children to touch only what is taken, keep their distance from others and wear masks while trick or treading on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.

It’s almost Halloween, that one special night of the year where kids dress up as everything from princesses to superheroes and go door-to-door for candy.

This year, though, one night might be two. Oct. 31 falls on a Sunday and in Utah, where many communities are predominately made up of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, families will have to decide if trick-or-treating on Sunday is breaking the sabbath or if they should just trick-or-treat a day earlier.

In a recent survey, The Salt Lake Tribune asked readers what day they plan to trick-or-treat and why. It garnered over 100 responses and highlighted a variety of opinions.

For some, Halloween should only be celebrated on Oct. 31. Others expressed concern about Sunday being a school night. Still others said that they’re open to either night and families should do what’s best for them.

Here’s a closer look at what survey respondents said about when and how they’re celebrating Halloween:

One school of thought: Halloween is Oct. 31 only

Makayla Benjamin of West Valley wrote that she’s a navy brat and in all the other places she’s lived, she’s never before heard of moving Halloween just because it’s on a Sunday.

She plans on giving out candy only on Oct. 31 for this reason.

“[This is] ridiculous,” she said. “It’s causing more confusion than there needs to be.”

Cottonwood Heights resident Trish Kapos added that she would prefer to keep the holiday on its designated date, but she’s “resigned to the fact that there’s no Halloween on Sunday in Utah.”

However, she plans on handing out candy on both nights “just in case someone doesn’t understand the local culture.”

Christine Green, a Draper resident, said she’d also prefer to take her kids trick-or-treating on Sunday, but she’s not going to argue with them if they want to be out with the other kids on Saturday night.

She plans on handing out candy on both nights because she doesn’t want any child to be disappointed.

“We went out [trick-or-treating] on a Sunday once and people were so rude to my tiny kids. It was so disrespectful,” Green wrote.

Another school of thought: Halloween can be celebrated on Oct. 30

Multiple survey respondents said they want to trick-or-treat on Saturday not for religious reasons, but simply because it’s not a school night.

East Millcreek resident Jason Work Anderson said his family chatted with neighbors to learn that most of their community is trick-or-treating on Saturday, at least partially because “trick-or-treating on a school night is a total bummer.”

He’ll give out candy on both nights, he said, because everyone deserves candy regardless of when they come.

Murray resident Shannon Markham added that her family would rather be out on a weekend than on a school night, but will give out candy both days so that the kids in her neighborhood can “have fun regardless of which night works best for their families.”

Though many survey respondents wrote about school night concerns, religion is undeniably a factor for many Utahns.

Jessica Trammell of St. George wrote that her family will trick-or-treat on Saturday, then spend Sunday “learn[ing] about the gospel.”

She added that they’ll give out candy mainly on Saturday but won’t turn away anyone who comes on Sunday, though she doubts they’ll get many trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31 because most of her neighborhood is made up of Latter-day Saints.

West Jordan resident Jared Price added that his family will give out candy on Saturday, then have a family party away from home on Sunday.

“Many in the community love Halloween, but don’t embrace doing so on Sunday. Let’s respect that,” he said.

A third school of thought: Do what’s best for you

Graham Castleton, a Lehi resident, said he expects most of his neighborhood will trick-or-treat on Saturday, but his kids will join in on Sunday if that’s when everyone is out.

“[I’m] not sure how many trick-or-treaters (if any) we’ll see on Sunday, but we’ll hand out candy as long as supplies hold out all weekend,” he wrote.

Kristin Nilsen of Kaysville wrote that she’ll hand out candy on both nights.

“It’s all about kids and having fun,” she said. “We’re not religious and [what day you celebrate Halloween] just shouldn’t matter.”

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