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The ‘Saturday Halloween Movement': A petition beseeches Trump to reschedule the spooky celebration

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 10/26/2018 Isaac Stanley-Becker

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Leave it to the calendar to put a major cramp in trick-or-treating.

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year. Hump day, smack in the middle of the workweek. Hoping to help a child put the finishing touches on a Super Mario outfit? Better not get caught at the office. Planning to turn in early for school the next day? Better put down the Skittles.

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A solution to this irksome scheduling has been suggested by the Halloween Industry Association, which represents companies whose interest in ensuring Americans can properly spook one another each year is hardly opaque. The group, which also calls itself the Halloween & Costume Association, is petitioning President Trump to move Halloween to the last Saturday of October.

Children in Halloween costumes reaching into bowl of candy. (Tetra Images) © Tetra Images /Alamy Stock Photo Children in Halloween costumes reaching into bowl of candy. (Tetra Images)

It’s called the “Saturday Halloween Movement,” and it might just be the cause that can unite the country.

Who, after all, even knows why Halloween is observed on Oct. 31? The timing of the celebration reflects its origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when ghosts of the dead were believed to return and walk the Earth at the end of the harvest and on the cusp of winter, as the History Channel explains.

The Halloween industry says there are now more pressing concerns.

“It’s time for a Safer, Longer, Stress-Free Celebration!” the petition declares.

The petition marshals some grave statistics to prove its point. Each year, there are 3,800 Halloween-related injuries, the industry warns. Most parents don’t incorporate “high visibility aids” into their outfits, the petition notes, and most children don’t carry flashlights. Seventy percent of parents leave their children all alone to trick-or-treat, according to the industry, while more than half of millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday. Why, the Halloween Industry is asking, “cram it into 2 rushed evening weekday hours when it deserves a full day!?!”

Nearly 6,000 signatories seem to agree.

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