This Petition Hopes to Move Halloween to the Last Saturday in October
Halloween falls on Wednesday this year—not exactly the spookiest day of the week. Plus, late nights of trick-or-treating and candy eating can be spoiled when you have school or work the next morning.
Thus the Halloween Industry Association—yes, there is such a thing—is petitioning President Donald Trump to change Halloween to the last Saturday in October, every year, regardless of on which day Oct. 31 falls. The association, also known as the Halloween & Costume Association, argues that a Saturday would make a “safer, longer, stress-free celebration.” The three-month-old petition has over 9,000 signatures as of Friday.
The nonprofit that created the “Saturday Halloween Movement” represents companies in the Halloween industry that create costumes and decorations. While a weekend celebration would probably mean more parties, and thus more spending, the petition’s main argument is safety.
The petition’s language notes that there are 3,800 Halloween-related injuries each year, 63% of children don’t carry a flashlight while out tick-or-treating, and 70% of parents don’t go trick-or-treating with their kids. If the holiday were held on Saturday—without being precluded by school activities, homework, and dinner—parents could potentially have their kids go door-to-door before it gets dark, easing some safety concerns.
Plus, according to the petition, “51% of millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday, why cram it into 2 rushed evening weekday hours when it deserves a full day!?!”
Well, the holiday traditionally falls on Oct. 31 due to its origins from the Celtic festival of Samhain, according to the History Channel. Samhain marked the end of summer and the start winter, a time associated with death. The Celts believed ghosts returned to earth on this night, and commemorated the event with fortune-telling, costumes, and bonfires.
This eventually evolved into today’s Halloween, with trick-or-treating, cute (or spooky) costumes, and neighborhood parties—activities less tied to the harvest calendar, and more perhaps conducive to a weekend celebration.