Trick-or-Treat? No Sunday Night Halloween for Livingston Parish

The Baton Rouge Advocate reports today that the ACLU of Louisiana is protesting a new policy moving the parish’s trick-or-treating to Monday, Nov. 1 from the traditional Oct. 31 because this year, Oct. 31 falls on a Sunday.

Sunday is traditionally a religious holiday, and rural Livingston Parish has decided that costumed kids and free candy doesn’t fit well with the Sabbath.

However, The Advocate also reports that a lot of residents, including the Parish President, are ignoring the ordinance, and the ACLU of Louisiana seems to be on the side of residents and some local politicians in this letter.

But the ACLU’s legal argument is an interesting one, it is two-fold, according to the letter:

1. Halloween is a Religious Holiday, and its observance should not be abrogated by a Parish Council’s Ordinance

2. The Louisiana and U.S. Constitutions provide a right of free assembly, which prohibits the Livingston Parish Council from telling people they can knock on doors and ask for candy any night of the week, much less Halloween.

What do you think?


About Scott
I am a young attorney in New Orleans with a passion for First Amendment Law. My blog is not an advertisement for attorney services in any way.

8 Responses to Trick-or-Treat? No Sunday Night Halloween for Livingston Parish

  1. Where'sTheBeef? says:

    While it is true that in my religion, Wicca, Halloween which we call Samhain is a religious holiday; however, trick-or-treating is not the focus of honoring the Samhain holiday; further more, the kids that are trick-or-treating very likely have no idea what religious connotations are associated with Halloween – they just know is a day to go out in costume and collect candy loot. However, while Christian religions or other faiths for that matter, are well within their rights to choose when and IF they allow their children to celebrate Halloween by adjusting their Church calendar, it would not be appropriate to enact laws that are specifically targeted to accomodate their faith. The town however, should be within its rights to determine when certain functions take place within its boundaries when it effects street closures or staffing of police to insure safety…. just my two cents. I do believe that this particular pot is being stirred by someone who has it in for Livingston Parish and is attacking at every opportunity. The parties know who they are…

  2. Barbara Wagner says:

    If you are going to move Halloween from its traditional date, and you have a choice of dates, why not move it to Saturday night when kids can stay out later with no school the next day, rather than Monday night–a school night?

    • Angela says:

      That is a good point. I refuse to pass candy on the wrong date. If Christmas fell on a Wednesay would you move it to be more conveinent? Probably not.

  3. Darrell says:

    Wow! Looks like the Anti-Christian Lunatic Union has soared to new heights of ignorance in their lustful hatred of all things Christian. Is this the ACLU’s version of a Halloween prank? Do they really honestly believe that this ordinance will be observed? Especially by anyone who might view Halloween as a religious holiday? Do they believe that the Parish Sheriff’s Department has the resources or even the desire to enforce this ordinance? The Sheriff would surely give priority to stopping a gang of punks from pushing dope rather than stopping a gang of three year olds in pumpkin suites from begging for candy. It is certainly a noble effort to compel the community to keep the Sabbath holy, but that is an ordinance that can only be enforced in the heart, not on paper. If the Christians of Livingston Parish truly want Sunday to be the Lord’s day, then they need to get out and evangelize; and I would say that Halloween night would be a great time to do just that. Think about it: You don’t have to go out looking for them, they will come right to your door.

    • Concerned says:

      Most of my neighbors are CATHOLIC and do not want trick or treat on their Holy Day, All Saint’s Day. The ACLU is right to protest this and defend this CHRISTIAN holiday. Seriously Darrell, learn something before you speak again.

  4. Angela says:

    This is so dumb! Kids have no concept of the religious aspect of Halloween. It’s a day to dress up and get candy. It’s fun for them. And since when does local government mix with religious ideas…um, isn’t there a separation of church and state? I live in Livingston Parish, if these bible banging christian thugs get trick or treating moved, I will not pass out candy and will put up a sign stating ” We pass candy on the correct date”.

  5. Paulette Grace says:

    Not many people realize this, but HALLOWEEN HAS CATHOLIC ROOTS, too! The title, “All Hallow’s Eve” has been shortened to Halloween. All Saint’s Day (Nov. 1st) & All Soul’s Day (Nov. 2nd) were put on the day after “Samhain” (Oct. 31st) to help explain our Catholic beliefs about the Dead. So Oct. 31 was called “All Hallow’s Eve” by the Catholics (aka Christians at the time because it was before the Protestant Reformation) because it was the EVE of All Saint’s Day in which we honor ALL the Holy (or HALLOWED) Souls that have made it to Heaven. So to ban trick or treating on Sunday is just plain INGORANCE about its roots. It has multi-religious roots, including Christian ones! But don’t take my word for it, check out this website: or goggle yourself!

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