Petition: Clearly we need to change the date of Halloween

Tomorrow is Halloween, so many of you will be subjected to the annual ritual that brings hordes of young potential vandals dressed to mask their identity as they extort candy from you under threat of egging your car or festooning the trees on your property with toilet paper. Unfortunately, adding to the issues arising from this practice, the holiday falls on Wednesday, smack in the middle of the work week. That means that some of you of a certain age who tend to go to bed early will be forced to stay up late. Some of you younger folks may be tempted into going out to attend parties, leaving you hungover and running on too little sleep when you head off to work or school the following morning.

Can this situation be remedied? That’s what one group of people would like to see and they’ve started a petition to have the date of Halloween changed so it falls on the last Saturday of October each year. (New York Post)

Could the spookiest day of the year no longer be on Oct. 31? That’s the hope of a group called the Halloween & Costume Association, which started a petition to move the holiday to the last Saturday of October.

“It’s time for a Safer, Longer, Stress-Free Celebration! Let’s move Halloween to the last Saturday of October!” the group, also known as the Halloween Industry Association, states on the online petition.

As of Friday morning, the petition, titled the “Saturday Halloween Movement,” garnered more than 7,200 signatures out of its 7,500 goal.

It’s not as if we don’t mess around with the dates of various holidays all the time. Most of the federal holidays wind up being celebrated on a Monday so everyone can have a three day weekend, while also alleviating some of the issues I mentioned above. So why not Halloween?

Whose traditions would we be messing with by doing this? The holiday allegedly originated with the Celts a couple thousand years ago and it was their New Years Eve. It was also the time that the veil between this world and the next was the thinnest, so they dressed up in costumes and lit bonfires to keep the ghosts at bay. I don’t think there are all that many Celts left running around to offend so we’re probably safe there.

The Catholics stole the holiday eventually (as they did with most festivals) and in the 8th century Pope Gregory III declared November 1st All Saints Day, so the night before was All Hallows Eve. I don’t see too many religious festivals on Halloween these days so we might still be okay with the Christians if it moved by a few days. And it would make for better parties anyway.

So what do you think? If you’re in favor you can go sign their petition (for all the good it will do). They’re up near 35,000 signatures as of this writing. But I remain unsure who actually has the authority to change the date of Halloween. I suppose an act of Congress could do it in our country, but not around the world. Would we need to ask the Pope?

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