The Colors of Halloween

105182105411111cdpby Neva Bodin

While we celebrate fall with orange and brown of pumpkins, leaves and grass, we also mix Halloween colors in. There are many colors of Halloween with different associations.

Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve, or All Saints Eve, or All Souls Day, was first set for November 1st as a Celtic holiday to mark the end of summer and beginning of winter. The Catholics, sometime in the eighth century apparently, chose to use it to honor and remember those who had died, including saints, martyrs and departed Christians, making it a Christian holiday. Now, we have mixed it up with all manner of scary things, plus reasons to have a party and go trick or treating!

At any rate, several colors are used to decorate for this holiday.

batBlack is a predominant color displayed during the holiday. Black is a symbol for death or darkness, the realm of witches and goblins. Hence, we have black cats, black bats, black spiders and black witches hanging everywhere! I particularly hate the black spiders.

Orange is a symbol for warmth, fire and an echo of the leaves of autumn. It is also in contrast to black and the two complement each other.  It seems to be the one and only positive color symbolizing Halloween.

Purple has become a Halloween color also. Sometimes witches have purple hair or purple around their eyes. Purple is the color of the seventh chakra which represents the third eye and clairvoyance.witch-green

Chakras are thought to be seven centers of spiritual power in the body. Clairvoyance speaks of extra sensory perception.

Some believe Halloween is a night when the veil between what I’ll call the tactile world and the spiritual world is thin. Spirits are about. Apparently adding spiders and bats and witches adds to the thrill and fear of thinking so.

skullsWe have also added white—for bones and skeletons and ghosts; green—for goblins, goo, and slime; and red—for blood from vampires fangs.green-for-halloween

On another note, how did pumpkins become Jack-O-Lanterns? (It is thought in original celebrations, hallowed out turnips were used instead of pumpkins.) Apparently many cultures have tales of a tricky lad known as Jack who gets in trouble through his own devices.

Here is a story quote from the website: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/samhainoctober31/p/JackOLanterns.htm

(Copied 10/19/16) “In the case of the jack o’lantern, the story that inspired it is one in which Jack tries to outsmart the Devil himself. In the tale, Jack tricks the Devil into agreeing never to collect his soul. However, once Jack dies, it turns out he’s led too sinful a life to get into heaven, but because of his bargain with the Devil, he can’t get into hell either. Jack complains about how dark it is, wandering around earth with no place to go, and someone tosses him a hot coal, which he places in a hollowed-out turnip. Now poor Jack uses his turnip-lantern to guide him, and he is known as Jack of the Lantern.

In some variations of the story, Jack comes out only on Halloween night, and is looking for someone to take his place… so watch out, if you see him wandering your way!”

So there you have a little about the colors of Halloween, and with the last tale, perhaps orange isn’t such a positive color after all!pumpkin-mad

(All images from Pixabay.)

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22 Responses to The Colors of Halloween

  1. Doris says:

    I do love all that is associated with Halloween and all ‘holidays’. The colors that have been added over the years, the imaginative tales and of course the facts, no matter how embellished. Thank you for added to my education. I love it, Neva.

    Dorirs

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  2. Mike Staton says:

    Got me thinking about Halloween taking place in the fall, when the leaves are changing colors and falling to the ground — a time of dying, so to speak. When I was a kid, that was the furthest thing in my mind. Couldn’t wait to get my costume, go to the elementary school festival, and then do some trick-or-treating.

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    • Neva Bodin says:

      We take holidays at face value when we are young. I only got to go trick or treating once and think I may have worn a mask, not sure. Was visiting a city cousin. Can just imagine your enthusiasm after you got that costume one.

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  3. Love this post! It’s so full of fun facts. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Of course, living in Mexico for eight years I loved the November 1st holiday, Dia de Los Muertes (Day of the Dead). It, too, is a Christian holiday where families honor their departed. There is fun associated with it too. I loved being there because the Americans celebrated Halloween and the Mexicans Day of the Dead. It was all scrambled together for a really fun holiday. I’m so glad I got to experience it.

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  4. What an interesting story about the origin of the Jack of the Lantern. Somehow a lit-up turnip just doesn’t have the same appeal as a pumpkin!

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  5. Wranglers says:

    Neva, such a fun blog. Thanks for the colors of All Hallows Eve. I have read about the turnups too, but I think when they came to America they couldn’t raise the big turnips or something like that. Thanks. Cher’ley

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  6. I don’t do much for Halloween, anymore, but it was fun to read all about it.

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  7. Gayle Irwin says:

    I love the colors of fall, especially oranges, reds, and yellows. I never realized purple was associated with witches. You’ve shared a very interesting post, Neva. Happy and safe Halloween!

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  8. Nancy Jardine says:

    We still hollow out the turnips which are much harder than pumpkins. The smell of burnt turnip, by the end of the evening , is horrible! The colours of halloween are a great thing to write about, Neva.

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  9. Travis says:

    Not much you can put inside a turnip. I’ve never heard that before or Jack of the Lantern. I thought they were used to scare the demons away. Fun stuff.

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  10. S J Brown says:

    Our Halloween decorations cover all the colors you mentioned. Each year on the Saturday before Halloween we have a pumpkin carving party. It started when the kids were young and continues even though the kids are grown and having Pumpkin Carving Parties of their own.

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