Shades of blue in a sea of orange: The meaning behind a blue pumpkin for Halloween

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What it means if you see blue pumpkin buckets in a shade of orange.

Running at full speed down a vibrant orange lantern lined cobble road, cool winds cutting through your mask, with a full bag of sweets thumping against your leg is a sensation we’ll all never forget. But, the thrill of a simple “trick or treat” as your portable pumpkin fills with all the candy a child could possibly long for is not a sensation that every child gets to experience.

Nevertheless, in a sea of orange pumpkins, two new colors will be spotted this Halloween that ensures that the thrill of trick or treating can be accessible to everyone.

The Teal Pumpkin Project, founded in 2014 by the Food Allergy Research and Education Organisation, aims to raise awareness of food allergens and to create a more inclusive trick or treating experience for children with allergies.

If you stumble upon a teal pumpkin on a doorstep, it’s a symbol of “safety, inclusion, and respect of individuals managing food allergies.” Since 2014, the campaign has swept the globe leaving a fair selection of teal pumpkins donned in front of thousands of households every year.

This year, the Teal Pumpkin Project has a new friend after a mom spoke up about an overlooked issue with Halloween. Amongst the orange and teal pumpkins, blue pumpkins will also be hitting the trick or treating scene.

A royal blue pumpkin has now been given a new meaning: a symbol of autism that allows households to know if a trick or treater may have or require different needs.

“I hope that people are going to be open to the idea! I think that making Halloween more inclusive is a task that’s been a longtime coming,” -Jose Ju, 19

Alice Plumer, the mother of a 21-year-old with autism who adores Halloween, took to Facebook to share why her son would be carrying a blue pumpkin this year. 

Since hitting 27,000 several others have stepped up saying that their children will also be donning a blue pumpkin. Omairis Taylor, mother of a three-year-old boy with autism was quick to hop on the trend. 

“My son is nonverbal. Last year, houses would wait for him to say trick or treat in order for him to get a piece of candy and there I’d go explaining the situation for the next five blocks… please allow him and any other person with a blue bucket to enjoy this day. This holiday is hard enough without the added stress.”

By carrying a blue pumpkin, mothers, such as Plumer, hope that people will see that individuals with autism want to participate in the trick or treating fun as well as everyone else, doing it in a less expected way.

Words: Jillian Keith

Photo: Jillian Keith

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