Ever Wonder Why Orange and Black Are the Halloween Colors?

Halloween is right around the corner! Decorations covered in the colors of Halloween are turning up around houses up and down each street. Orange pumpkins and black cats galore! Trick-or-treaters dressed in fun and scary costumes will soon be stopping by. Some people will paint their nails black and orange, and those who are really excited about the holiday will wear festive black and orange clothes.

While other countries celebrate this holiday a little differently than Americans, it's safe to say that our Halloween colors and decorations are widely recognized. Just like red and green around Christmas time, orange and black have come to represent the spooky holiday. Have you ever wondered exactly why our Halloween colors are black and orange? Interestingly enough, black and orange weren't always associated with Halloween.

The History of Our Halloween Colors

Our ghostly traditions apparently began over 2,000 years ago with the Celts. They believed that the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead were blurred right before the new year.

According to, "[Halloween] is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts."

People also wore black clothing to the bonfires, traditionally a sign of mourning, to honor their late relatives.

So when did the color orange come into play?

As we all know, orange is representative of various fall symbols, like pumpkins and fall leaves. Carved pumpkins, also known as Jack-o'-lanterns, originated in Ireland, where people would carve lanterns out of potatoes and turnips to celebrate the Irish myth of Stingy Jack.

When the Irish migrated to the United States, they brought this tradition with them. As all traditions do, this one evolved. Today, it's become the artistic and fun pumpkins you see along the streets in your neighborhood.

As Bustle says, the colors were likely paired together because of the strong contrast of the two hues.

So when you pair your orange sweater with black slacks this Halloween, just know that you're part of a centuries long tradition.

Check out These Incredible Countrified Jack-O-Lanterns:

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Ever Wonder Why Orange and Black Are the Halloween Colors?