No, they're not just being greedy.

By Mike Pomranz
October 31, 2019
Bonfanti Diego/Getty Images

Today is Halloween. Or is it? Don’t let the October 31 on the calendar fool you—some communities across the U.S. are asking residents if they wouldn’t mind postponing trick-or-treating until a day with better weather.

Interestingly enough, over the summer, a campaign looking to move Halloween from October 31 to the last Saturday of the month regained some momentum—with even candy bar brand Snickers throwing their support behind it. The plan is sensible but tricky to implement: The date of Halloween is more of a social contract than a government mandate, so moving it is more about getting people to change their habits than some sort of citywide decree. And yet, that hasn’t stopped some areas from attempting decrees anyway.

As NJ.com reports, depending on where you live in New Jersey, Halloween could "officially" be today… or tomorrow. Or it might have even been yesterday. Did you miss it? Due to weather forecasts calling for heavy rain and wind gusts, some areas made announcements that trick-or-treating times should be moved. For instance, North Plainfield, Buena Vista, Mantua Township, and Harrison Township are all reportedly telling residents to trick-or-treat on Friday. But the town of Hammonton, located halfway between Philadelphia and Atlantic City, fearing the same weather, decided to tell people to do their trick-or-treating last night.

Meanwhile, you may want to double-check the Facebook page of your city no matter where you live. As CNN explains, places in states like Ohio and Indiana have also moved Halloween to Friday. And other days are possible too. In West Virginia, the city of Spencer has pushed Halloween all the way until Saturday due to the threat of severe weather.

These decisions can feel a bit draconian. When someone posted a complaint on Spencer’s Facebook page, the city replied, "It looks like you weren't going to be able to because of the storm anyhow. Maybe take some candy to a family member's house, pop some popcorn, and watch Nightmare Before Christmas with the kids or something?" Sure, they were kind of joking, and the changes were made for safety reasons, but telling people how to spend their Thursday night is where I tend to draw the line with my city council.

Regardless, we’re all adults here. Putting on a costume, knocking on someone’s door, asking for candy, and then receiving it is legal pretty much everywhere (I can only hope)—the same way that you can get away with putting up a Christmas tree in the middle of summer and calling it "Christmas in July." In the end, trick-or-treating comes down to what you and your neighbors agree on. But if your area has moved Halloween this year, at the very least, you’ll learn just how much your neighbors respect your local government. That’s always fun, isn’t it?

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