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Why Over 75,000 People Have Signed a Petition to Change the Date of Halloween

July 26, 2019, 3:23 PM UTC

Halloween, for as long as anyone can remember, has always been on Oct. 31, but a trade group focused on the Halloween industry is pushing hard to change that date—and it’s now taking that fight to the Oval Office.

A petition on has topped its goal of 75,000 signatures to change the popular holiday to the last Saturday of October. With that milestone behind it, it’s planning to send the request on to President Trump.

It’s been a slow burn for the group, which calls itself the Halloween and Costume Association. The petition has been languishing for most of the past year, but has picked up steam lately. Officials say child safety is behind the push to change the date, noting there are 3,800 Halloween-related injuries each year.

They also concede that a Saturday Halloween can be a longer one, since kids won’t have to worry about school the next day. This year, Oct. 31 falls on a Thursday.

Halloween traces its history back to 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.

Halloween is more than a boon time for costume makers and party and accessory manufacturers, though. It’s one of the peak seasons for candy-maker Mars Wrigley—and spending is increasing each year.

Some believe Halloween’s popularity can last for too long. Last year, several states enacted legal age limits on trick or treaters.

With so many proposed and realized regulations on the popular holiday, All Hallow’s Eve may be more malleable than we thought.

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