Thousands petition to change Halloween to final Saturday in October

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Halloween falls on a weekday, parents sometimes complain of feeling rushed and stressed.

There’s now a movement change Halloween to the last Saturday of October.

The  Change.org petition already has more than 32,000 signatures.

“51 percent Of Millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday, why cram it into 2 rushed evening weekday hours when it deserves a full day!?!” the petition argues in part.

The writers of the petition also claim that Halloween is dangerous for many children who aren’t accompanied by their parents.

“70% of parents don’t accompany their children trick-or-treating,” the petition reads. “You’re never too old to trick-or-treat! Grab a costume and take advantage of some good ol’ fashioned family bonding!”

If the petition gets 100,000 signatures in 30 days, the White House will issue a response within 60 days.

How did Halloween come to be?

The word Halloween is an abbreviated version of the phrases All Hallows’ Eve or All Hallows’ Evening. All Hallows’ Evening is the night before the Christian holy day, All Hallows’ Day or All Saints Day. This day celebrates members of the church who have died over the past year.

Some Halloween ties also come from an ancient pagan festival celebrated by Celtic people over 2,000 years ago called Samhain (prono: SOW ehn).

The festival took place in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and northwestern France.

Samhain means “summer’s end” and marks the beginning of winter. Samhain is also thought to celebrate the beginning of the Celtic year. The Celts believed that Samhain was a time when the dead could walk among the living.

Trick-or-treating began in areas of the United Kingdom and Ireland. People went house-to-house “souling” – asking for small breads called “soul cakes” in exchange for prayer.

Adults also went door-to-door asking for food and drinks in exchange for a song or dance.

Jack-o’-lanterns are the symbol of Halloween. People in Ireland and Scotland originally used beets or turnips as lanterns on Halloween.

An Irish legend says that jack-o’-lanterns are named for a man called Jack who could not go to heaven or hell and was forced to walk the earth forever with only a coal from hell to light his lantern.

The name jack-o’-lantern can also be derived from the night watchman who would light the street lanterns every evening.

Immigrants from Ireland and Scotland brought Halloween to the United States in the 1800s. Haitian and African immigrants brought voodoo beliefs about black cats, fire, and witchcraft.

Halloween Statistics for 2018:
(ALL from the National Retail Federation)

More than 175 million Americans will celebrate Halloween this year, with seven out of ten consumers planning to hand out candy. Total spending in 2018 will reach $9 billion, with the average consumer planning to spend $86.79 on decorations, candy, costumes and more.

Top Children’s Costumes for 2018
1. Princess

2. Superhero

3. Batman

4. Star Wars character

5. Witch

Top Adult Costumes for 2018
1. Witch

2. Vampire

3. Zombie

4. Pirate

5. Avengers character (excluding Spider-Man)

Top Pet Costumes for 2018
1. Pumpkin

2. Hot Dog

3. Bumble Bee

4. Devil

5. Cat

CNN contributed to this report.