Ghostly proposal: petition to change date of Halloween is gaining momentum

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

A petition has been launched in the US to change the date of Halloween to the last Saturday in October as more and more people tire of harried weekday Halloweens - and Australia may well follow suit.

One of the first Halloweens I celebrated with my young children was on a weekend. The sheer joy of having the time and energy to put into satisfying costumes, make cupcakes, and decorate the house as well as the incredible energy out on the streets of our community that year, ensured we were all hooked.

The last three Halloweens, however, have been less than fun. Whenever it falls on a weekday, there's fewer people, less ambience and far more stress as we try to recreate the magic of that first one, while juggling work, sport training, school, homework, sleep needs and the inevitable sugar highs... followed by those crashing lows.

In a petition addressed to the President of the United States on Change.org, the Halloween & Costume Association urges people to 'Sign the National Petition to Move Halloween!'

The group, whose mission is  'To promote and grow the safe celebration of Halloween and year-round costumed events' writes, "It's time for a safer, longer, stress-free celebration! Let's move Halloween to the last Saturday of October!"

The petition focuses on the safety benefits that a Saturday Halloween would provide, citing statistics such as the "3,800 Halloween-related injuries each year," and that "Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween."

The good news for Halloween lovers is that the petition has already obtained 108,000 signatures - once a petition has 100,000, it's sent to the White House and a response is given within 30 days.

Predictably, a lot of people have a lot to say on the topic, both for and against.

"I'm signing because kids need the weekend to enjoy the day and not have to cram it into the school day. Plus, adults need time to celebrate too!"

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"If Halloween is on a Saturday that it will not be HALLOWEEN. There is more to it then having your kids take candy from strangers. It is a day before All Saint's Day which is celebrated on November 1st. That is how Halloween got it's date anyway. So moving it to a Saturday would ruin everything and it's existence."

"A good compromise would be to keep Halloween on October 31 for the sticklers, but have the last Saturday be Halloween Observed for the kids to go trick or treating and have Halloween parties. The kids are the ones this is for. If adults want to do something on the 31st, by all means, enjoy."

"I want my kids to have more than 2 hours to trick or treat! The curfews keep getting shorter and shorter and it's really hard when you work full time!"

Even confectionary brands are getting on board, with Snickers offering one million free bars if it's passed.

Skittles retweeted it with, "Petition the rainbow, taste the rainbow." This sparked another petition to bring back the lime Skittle.

With Halloween very much becoming a part of Australian celebratory culture, if this is passed, we should surely follow suit. People of all ages would appreciate having more time to have a fun day with their friends and family on Halloween.

I for one would love more time to bake with my kids, plan their costumes, have their friends over for a get together, before heading out in daylight hours to go trick or treating. It would be the perfect balance of family time, and connecting with the broader community - things that Halloween has always been good for.

We are one of many families who hope it's successful. If it is, see you on the streets on October 26.