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24th Oct 2023

Secret meaning behind blue trick-or-treat pumpkins everyone should know

Charlie Herbert

Blue pumpkins

There’s an educational reason behind the blue pumpkin

Pumpkins are one of the most iconic sights of Halloween, with orange Jack-o’-lantern’s seen outside many homes as the end of October approaches.

But if you’ve ever seen a blue pumpkin during spooky season, there could be an important reason for this.

Blue pumpkins and blue pumpkin buckets are largely used by families to signal that their child is on the autism spectrum, and therefore may cope differently to trick-or-treating exchanges.

The idea seems to have started around 2018, in the US when families and parents first started posting about blue pumpkins and their meaning.

Since then, blue pumpkins have grown in popularity in the UK, with some high street stores and chains now selling them.

It may well have been inspired by the Teal Pumpkin Project, which was a campaign launched in 2013 as a way for families facing severe food allergies to better educate neighbors about these challenges.

And last month, one woman’s post went viral on Facebook when she explained the “history behind the blue pumpkin.”

They wrote: “Lots of children with autism are non-verbal, if a child knocks on your door and is holding a blue pumpkin know that many won’t say ‘trick or treat’ or won’t speak at all.

“Don’t take this as them being weird or rude, they deserve to enjoy Halloween like everyone else.”

Blue pumpkins are used as a way to raise awareness around autism. If a child is holding one, it may be because they are non-verbal (Facebook)

In 2019, one parent explained: “My son is 3 years old and has autism. He is nonverbal.

“Last year, houses will wait for him to say ‘Trick or Treat’ in order for him to get a piece of candy — and there I go explaining the situation for the next 5 blocks.

“This year, we will be trying the Blue Bucket to signify he has autism. Please allow him (or anyone with a Blue Bucket) to enjoy this day… this holiday is hard enough without any added stress.”

Another parent wrote: “If you see someone who appears to be an adult dressed up to trick or treat this year carrying this blue bucket, he’s our son!

“His name is BJ & he is autistic. While he has the body of a 21 year old, he loves Halloween. Please help us keep his spirit alive & happy.

“So when you see the blue bucket share a piece of candy. Spread awareness! These precious people are not “too big” to trick or treat.”

Blue pumpkins aren’t linked to any official charity or formal fundraiser, and are often displayed by families to simply help educate others on how Halloween festivities can impact a child with autism.

So, if you answer the door this Halloween to a trick-or-treater holding a blue pumpkin, you now know to just to be mindful of how you handle things.

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