move Halloween to the last Saturday in October, while in England, next year's May Day bank holiday has been moved from May 1 to May 8, to coincide with the anniversary of VE Day.
Now, Halloween is a bigger thing in America than it is in England. The move is being asked for due to safety reasons, as thousands of children get injured while out trick or treating in the dark every year. It is thought that moving it to a weekend would make it safer.
Even if Halloween does get changed in America, that doesn't mean it would get changed in the UK too. However, pagans are upset about both the May Day change and the potential Halloween change. May Day coincides with the modern pagan wheel of the year festival of Beltane, while the Christian festival of Halloween coincides with the modern pagan wheel of the year festival of Samhain. Both are based on older folkloric customs.
Of course, the move could mean that pagans get to celebrate extra festivals - our own feasts *and* the secular one a few days later or earlier. However, many feel upset that, once again, pagan issues are being ignored. It would be lovely to have all of the wheel of the year dates as bank holidays, everywhere in the world. As we currently have so few, the May Day change touches a nerve. Halloween is not currently a bank holiday, but why not make it one, rather than move it?
These festivals are long traditions - and they are not traditional movable feasts - surely creating extra bank holidays would improve safety *and* keep everyone happy?
What do you think?
The picture shows the community book Every Day Magic at a feast to mark its launch at The Atlantis Bookshop, in London. Every Day Magic offers something magical to do every day, including traditional festivals and other spells and rituals. You can buy the book at Atlantis and also view Every Day Magic on Amazon.
Links and previous related posts