PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As another spooky season approaches the rearview, some parents are still pushing for Halloween to be moved to the last Saturday of October.
Previously known as All Hallow’s Eve, the holiday got its start as an ancient Celtic ritual in which people would honor the end of the summer by lighting bonfires and wearing costumes to protect themselves from ghosts on Oct. 31.
In some ways, Halloween has remained true to its roots. The holiday still gives children, adults and even pets an excuse to wear a costume inspired by characters, celebrities, mythical creatures and more.
However, what started as a religious festival has become a series of celebrations for people of all ages.
Children love Halloween because it rings in the annual tradition of trick-or-treating, which allows them to collect bags full of candy that their parents might otherwise restrict them from eating. For many adults, a big draw of the holiday is the booze that’s served at parties.
Although many celebrations are held the weekend before, the official Halloween on Oct. 31 can pose a challenge for people when it falls on a weekday.
That’s why there are more than 3,300 signatures on a Change.Org petition from 2018 that asks U.S. leaders to move the holiday to the last Saturday in October. Another petition has more than 158,000 signatures from supporters who want the last Saturday to be “National Trick or Treat Day.”
According to the individuals in support of the petition, moving Halloween to the weekend would help teachers who often deal with tired, grumpy students on the following school day. They used the same reasoning for the parents who transport kids to school the next day, as well as adults without children who want to party without the fear of battling a hangover at work.
People who are against the change say the holiday would lose its Celtic origins if it were scheduled for any day other than Oct. 31. They also argue that a Saturday Halloween would put children on the streets “on the most dangerous night of the week.”
Despite this Halloween falling on a Tuesday, researchers estimate that 70% of Americans will celebrate.