Should Hal­loween be cel­e­brated on Satur­days?

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE - Jackie Re­hwald

Noth­ing beats giv­ing kids a bunch of sug­ary treats on a school night, said no par­ent ever.

But is chang­ing the day we cel­e­brate Hal­loween from Oct. 31 to the last Sat­ur­day in Oc­to­ber the an­swer?

Thou­sands of peo­ple seem to think it could help.

As of Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon, nearly 20,000 peo­ple had signed a pe­ti­tion to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, urg­ing him to “Join the Sat­ur­day Hal­loween Move­ment,” which calls on the govern­ment to change the date Amer­i­cans cel­e­brate Hal­loween.

The pe­ti­tion was started by the Hal­loween & Cos­tume As­so­ci­a­tion, a non­profit that rep­re­sents the cos­tume and Hal­loween in­dus­tries.

In the pe­ti­tion, the as­so­ci­a­tion ar­gues that chang­ing the date for trick-or­treat­ing would make it a “safer, longer, stress-free cel­e­bra­tion.”

There was no word from the White House on whether Trump is on board.

Ac­cord­ing to His­, Hal­loween’s ori­gins date back to the an­cient Celtic fes­ti­val of Samhain (pro­nounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ire­land, the United King­dom and north­ern France, cel­e­brated their new year on Nov. 1.

This day marked the end of sum­mer and the har­vest and the be­gin­ning of the dark, cold win­ter, a time of year that was of­ten as­so­ci­ated with hu­man death. Celts be­lieved that on the night be­fore the new year, the bound­ary be­tween the worlds of the liv­ing and the dead be­came blurred. On the night of Oct. 31, they cel­e­brated Samhain, when it was be­lieved that the ghosts of the dead re­turned to earth.

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