Tens of thousands of people are asking the White House to change the date of Halloween from October 31 to the last Saturday of the month to make the holiday safer, longer and stress-free.
The Change.org petition already has more than 33,000 signatures. Many parents have long argued the holiday is less fun for everyone when it lands on a school and work night.
According to the Halloween and Costume Association, the organization that started the petition, 70 percent of parents do not accompany their children trick-or-treating and 3,800 people are injured every year in Halloween-related incidents. They say changing the holiday to a Saturday would make it safer, reports CBS News’ Jericka Duncan.
“You could start things earlier, or they could go longer and maybe it wouldn’t all be at nighttime when it’s completely dark,” said Cassandra Stone, who wrote about the “Saturday Halloween Movement” on the website “Scary Mommy.” For her, it’s also personal.
Her husband Justin almost missed trick-or-treating last year with their now 3-year-old daughter Vivienne when he got stuck in traffic coming home from work.
“Often times parents are rushing home they’re trying to get the kids fed and in their costumes and out the door. … If it was on a Saturday that would kind of eliminate all of that,” Stone said.
Holidays have been moved before. In the 1960s, Congress moved George Washington’s birthday and Labor Day to Mondays so people could conveniently observe with a three-day weekend.
But Halloween is not a federal holiday and likely won’t become one, said author and historian Kenneth C. Davis.
“It’s very expensive for the federal government to declare a federal holiday,” he said. “So I don’t see any time soon a new holiday for Halloween.”
For Stone, moving Halloween to a Saturday would be a treat for all. “It would be nice if we could all be together like we are with other holidays.”
Halloween, which began as a pagan tradition more than 1,000 years ago, gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1930s, Davis said. Many of those opposed to the change argue Halloween’s date is rooted in long and historical tradition and because of that, it should remain on October 31st.