When Halloween falls on a weeknight, the stress seems to skyrocket. Parents have to run home from work and send their children out into the already-dark neighborhoods. Then, once the trick-or-treating ends, they still have to manage homework and bedtimes, not to mention their own work schedules.
After seeing how much easier things are when the holiday happens to land on a weekend, nearly 50,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling on President Trump to change the date of Halloween from October 31 to the last Saturday of every October.
The petition was started by the Halloween and Costume Association, which reports that "70 percent of parents do not accompany their children trick-or-treating and 3,800 people are injured every year in Halloween-related incidents."
Cassandra Stone, author of the parenting blog "Scary Mommy," believes moving Halloween to Saturday would make it safer:
"You could start things earlier, or they could go longer and maybe it wouldn't all be at nighttime when it's completely dark."
Stone's husband has almost missed trick-or-treating in the past because of traffic on the way 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."
The petition, addressed to President Trump, lists these statistics to make its case:
-3,800 Halloween-related injuries each year. Talk to your kids about safety before they head out!
-82% of parents don't use high visibility aids on their costume, be sure to incorporate reflective tape, glow sticks, finger lights or light up accessories
-63% of children don't carry a flashlight while they are tick-or-treating. Grab a clip-on light if they don't want to carry one!Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween. Discuss safety, pre-plan a route, stay on side walks and use cross walks
-65% of parents don't discuss Halloween safety with their children. Talk with your kids and offer ways to ensure a fun and safe experience
-70%of parents don't accompany their children trick-or-treating. You're never too old to trick-or-treat! Grab a costume and take advantage of some good ol' fashioned family bonding!
-51% Of Millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday, why cram it into 2 rushed evening weekday hours when it deserves a full day!?!
Moving holidays is not unprecedented. George Washington's birthday and Labor Day were both moved to permanent Mondays in the 1960s so citizens could observe them with a three-day weekend.
There is a difference between those holidays and Halloween, however: Halloween isn't a national holiday.
And, according to historian Kenneth C. Davis, it probably isn't going to become one:
"It's very expensive for the federal government to declare a federal holiday. So I don't see any time soon a new holiday for Halloween."
Halloween has been widely celebrated in the U.S. since only the 1930s, and many argue that the date of Halloween should not be moved since the pagan traditions that inspired the modern version of the event date back more than 1,000 years.
Since Halloween isn't a national holiday, the likelihood that President Trump would move its date seems very small (though President Trump's actions are nothing if not unpredictable). In the meantime, local communities can make efforts to set their trick-or-treats on dates other than Halloween night to try and make the experience safer and more fun for everyone involved!