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Go Ask Mom

When is Halloween? Oct. 31

Posted October 21, 2012
Updated October 25, 2012

Halloween

It's time to get those costumes ready and stock up on some candy. Halloween is less than two weeks away!

While Halloween night means big sacks of candy for the kids, it also means some confusion on the part of some parents on just exactly when to send their little Batmans and Cinderellas out for trick-or-treating.

I suspect the confusion comes from the fact that some communities in our region change the date for trick-or-treating when Oct. 31 falls on a Sunday. I think it also comes from the fact that some communities recommend specific hours for trick-or-treating. So when parents of other communities that make no such recommendation can't find the hours for their community, they wonder what it might be.

And then there are just random questions that I field this time of year. A sampling (the first two prompted by last year's stormy Halloween night):

Is Halloween canceled because of the rain? When will Halloween be rescheduled? When did the governor declare the date and times for Halloween this year?

I'm making some broad brushes here because there could be an exception, but communities don't cancel Halloween because of the weather or reschedule it. And the governor makes no declaration on when families celebrate Halloween, though the Executive Mansion in downtown Raleigh generally does dole out candy on Oct. 31. I'm checking the times for this year now. It's usually from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

So with all that said, here's the scoop on many communities across the region. The vast majority makes no recommendation on trick-or-treating hours or when Halloween is celebrated.

Happy Halloween!

Raleigh: The city does not set trick-or-treating day and hours. Trick-or-treaters will be out Oct. 31.
Cary: The town does not dictate when Halloween is. Trick-or-treaters will be out Oct. 31.
Durham. The city doesn't take a position on when Halloween is celebrated. Trick-or-treaters will be out Oct. 31.
Chapel Hill: It is always Oct. 31.
Cumberland County, Fayetteville: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 31
Chatham County: Oct. 31.
Wayne County: Oct. 31
Louisburg: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 31
Pittsboro: Oct. 31
Goldsboro: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 31
Mount Olive: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m, Oct. 31
Clayton: Oct. 31
Fuquay-Varina: The town board does not take a position on when Halloween is. Trick-or-treaters will be out Oct. 31.
Hillsborough: The town does not take a position on when Halloween is. Trick-or-treaters will be out Oct. 31.
Holly Springs: Oct. 31
Knightdale: The town does not take a position on when Halloween is celebrated. Trick-or-treaters will be out Oct. 31.
Morrisville: The town does not take a position on when Halloween is celebrated. Trick-or-treaters will be out Oct. 31.
Rocky Mount: Oct. 31
Sanford: The city has never changed dates for Halloween. It's Oct. 31.
Wake Forest: The Town of Wake Forest traditionally recognizes Oct. 31 as the official date for Halloween. The Wake Forest Police Department also recommends that kids trick-or-treat between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Wake County: The county does not guide Halloween activities. Trick-or-treaters will be out Oct. 31.
Wilson: Oct. 31
Apex: Historically, kids in Apex trick or treat on Oct. 31. The town does not officially set this date, or take a position on what day any holiday is celebrated. The town suggests that all trick-or-treating is done by 9 p.m.
Wendell: Oct. 31
Zebulon: Oct. 31
Smithfield: Oct. 31. May update with recommended hours.
Selma: Before 8 p.m., Oct. 31
Garner: Oct. 31
Princeton: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Oct. 31
Angier: Oct. 31
Coats: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 31
Dunn: Early evening until 8:30 p.m., Oct. 31
Erwin: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Oct. 31
Lillington: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Oct. 31
Harnett County: Oct. 31
Oxford: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 31
Rolesville: Oct. 31

5 Comments

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  • shall6 Oct 22, 7:27 p.m.

    andreanicole ... I know! But people still ask me about it regardless of the day it falls (some wish it wouldn't fall on a school night). And others wonder what the trick-or-treating hours.

    Sarah

  • Killian Oct 22, 4:11 p.m.

    SaveEnergyMan - You've got it mostly right. The original "jack-o-lanterns came because Pagans had to meet in secret in order to avoid being persecuted by Christians. They would set a candle inside a hollowed out gourd so that people could find their way through the woods. The Christians tried to portray the Pagans as being devil worshippers, which couldn't be further from the truth. But some people choose to believe in all sorts of rumors and hocus pocus rather than the actual truths of a peaceful faith based in nature and respect and peace.

    Pagans view that night as the night of the New Year, when the veil between the past and the future is the thinnest. The "spooky" nature is merely that we respect our ancestors and those who have gone before us. We choose that night to honor their presence in our lives.

    The candy for kids is adapted from a tradition called Beggar's Night, when poor people could go asking for help and couldn't be turned away.

    Cheers!

  • SaveEnergyMan Oct 22, 2:14 p.m.

    Halloween and Christmas both got their start as pagan holidays - as WitchWu noted because of blending with cultures. The early Christians would have been persecuted if they celebrated a holiday outside of the Roman holidays - so the solstice festival becomes Christmas (they didn't even really know what day Christ was born in any case). Likewise the pagan holiday that Catholics adopted into All Saints Day - or All Halloweds Day (Nov 1). All Halloweds Eve became Halloween and focused on the dead (hence the spooky stuff). Getting candy came later to soften the spooky stuff for the kids.

  • andreanicole686 Oct 22, 1:05 p.m.

    October 31st isn't a Sunday? I'm confused. It's a Wednesday.

  • wu Oct 22, 11:59 a.m.

    Samhanin "halloween" is a very sacred pagan sabbath "holiday" it is always celebrated Oct.31 into Nov. 1The christians are trying to take credit for another holiday that doesn't have nothing to do with them , just like Yule their christmas is also based on our winter soltice! Samhain is very special also.The axial tilt is the reason for the seasons! WitchWu