Trick-or-treat travesty? Opinions split on whether Halloween can just be rescheduled

A holiday can't be moved, says a mom who took her son trick-or-treating Halloween night. But climate change means we have to adapt to extreme weather, counters a dad.

In Quebec the promise of rain, strong winds on Oct. 31 prompted many cities to delay Halloween

Ayla Foers writes that her little wolf started to cry when it looked like no one was celebrating Halloween on the night he had been waiting for. In the end, they found a few trick-or-treaters in the streets of Montreal's Rosemont–La Petite Patrie borough Oct. 31. (Submitted by Ayla Foers)

Should a tradition like kids trick-or-treating on Halloween be moved because of bad weather?

Montreal made the unprecedented decision Wednesday to bump the tradition by one night, to Nov. 1. 

The announcement came as Environment Canada issued a wind warning for Montreal, Quebec City, and the communities in between. "Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage," it said.

Many cities followed Montreal's lead, while some decided on a compromise — to have trick-or-treating take place on both Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

In Montreal, dozens of trees were knocked down Thursday night as winds reached 100 kilometres per hour. By Friday morning, 67,000 homes and businesses were without power.

Some kids in the region are probably happy they didn't have to head out into last night's weather, and others are likely looking forward to double-dipping the candy bowl tonight. 

Still, not everyone is thrilled by the prospect of a Halloween replay.

A mother in Montreal's Rosemont–La Petite Patrie borough — a popular area for young families — took her son out on Oct. 31, and they were among a few "rebels" braving the dark streets.

Meanwhile, a father living in Westmount — an affluent suburb west of Montreal — argues that climate change means adapting to extreme weather is a new reality we have to accept. 

Pointe-Claire, a city west of Montreal, was one of a small group of cities opting to have trick-or-treating take place on both Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. (Sean Henry/CBC)

Halloween was almost cancelled, but mom Ayla Foers persisted:

We made the choice to go trick-or-treating Halloween night so that we could celebrate just a little — and we hoped to find a couple of others who felt the same way.

As we walked through the empty, dark streets, I couldn't help but think of what a lovely evening it was.

When we went out around 6 p.m. and it was a balmy 15 degrees with a light rain — it was a great night for trick or treating!

Except, there were no houses to go to.

As I explained to Evan, my three-and-a-half year old "wolf boy," that we would have to head home, tears streamed down down his cheeks.

He couldn't understand. He was so excited about going out that he didn't even notice the rain.

Just as we were giving up and ready to go home, I saw the faint flicker of a pumpkin out of the corner of my eye.

We raced down the street and up the steps. There was a sign posted on the door: "Here we celebrate Halloween on October 31st."

Emotion hit me as we knocked. Tears stung my eyes. We would have a little Halloween after all.

In the end, we found about 10 houses, and a little gang of "rebels" out celebrating.

Ayla Foers with her son, Evan. (Submitted by Ayla Foers)

When we ran into other trick-or-treaters, we'd say, "There are two houses that way and one over there."

As the rain picked up, we made our way home, laughing as we jumped over puddles and trying not to spill the candy.

The bucket might not have been full, but our hearts sure were, and that's what we will remember.

When the mayor announced Halloween would be moved to Nov. 1, I understand her choice came with good intentions, but I personally feel, just as we can't choose the weather, she can't choose to change Halloween.

I know it may have helped some, but in my opinion, it's a holiday celebrated on its date, like any other. Let the weather be what it is — unpredictable and totally Canadian! 

Climate change makes adapting extreme weather our new reality, says dad Gregory Baizer:

As an avid CBC Radio listener, I was listening to Radio Noon and was struck by people being so
upset about Montreal and other cities — like mine, Westmount — postponing Halloween until Nov. 1.

Kids dressed up for school on Halloween, Oct. 31, in Montreal. Trick-or-treating was pushed back until Nov. 1. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada)

As my children are all adults now, my thoughts go back to all the nights we went out in rain and cold weather.

When the city decided to postpone Halloween we thought, "What a shame."

But we then quickly realized they were calling for between 70 and 90 km/h winds.

That changed my whole thought process.

Gregory Baizer is the director of the fresh produce division of Quebec health food chain Marches Tau. He plans on handing out candy to trick-or-treaters on both Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. (Submitted by Gregory Baizer)

We need to protect our children.

The world is a changing place, and unfortunately global warming has changed the game — our weather systems have become much more extreme.

So the past cannot dictate the future, and we have to adjust so the people responsible for making these decisions need not be ridiculed, but applauded for being on the side of caution.

My granddaughter will be going out next year for the first time.

I hope we can just keep the spirit of fun alive in Halloween — and that everybody can chill out, and respect our leaders who side with caution.


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