Update: AutoInsurance.org's recent Halloween Safety Study found weekdays are more dangerous for tricker-treaters than weekends. Their study supports moving Halloween to the last Saturday in October. The original story follows.
An online petition is calling or Halloween to fall on a new date.
Ever since it started being celebrated in America in the 19th century (and in Europe far earlier than that), Halloween has always fallen on October 31st. It didn’t matter what day of the week, it didn’t matter if it was rain or shine; it was always October 31st no matter what.
However, unlike Christmas which is given a national holiday, Halloween doesn’t come with a day off work or school. This means that tired parents often don’t go out with their sugar-stuffed progeny to go door-to-door begging for sweet snacks.
The US-based Halloween & Costume Association wants to change this dynamic. They want to move Halloween to the last Saturday of October so that everyone has a day off to enjoy this most spooky of holidays.
“It’s time for a Safer, Longer, Stress-Free Celebration,” proclaims the Association’s Change.org petition. In addition to giving exhausted parents more energy to spend trick-or-treating with their kids, the Association touts safety as their primary motivator for the switch in dates.
“Unfortunately, a lot of children are injured every year from car accidents and other related injuries,” said Halloween & Costume Association spokesperson Kevin Johnson to CTV News. “If trick-or-treating was on a Saturday, we could start earlier. It would be a whole fun day.”
On their petition, the Association notes that children are twice as likely to be injured by a car accident during Halloween than on any other day of the year. CTV notes that a recent University of British Columbia study actually found the risk to be much higher, with children aged between 4-8 about ten times as likely to be killed in an automobile accident during Halloween.
The Association also notes that 70% of parents don’t follow their children on trick-or-treating ventures, leaving them to venture into the night without any supervision. Switching the date would allow parents to spend more time with their children on Halloween and also allow trick-or-treating to take place during the day when visibility is much higher.
Besides, moving Halloween to the last weekend of the month would make scheduling Halloween parties way easier.
So far, the petition has 41,000 signatures of the required 50,000. We expect this petition to go through, which might even lead to some sweeping Halloween changes.