Blue and teal pumpkin buckets: what the colours mean for those with autism and allergies on Halloween

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Children normally collect their Halloween goodies in orange pumpkin buckets - but this year you may notice people carrying containers of different colours.

The colour of a Halloween bucket can actually carry significant meaning. Here’s what it means if you see children (or adults) carrying blue or teal pumpkin buckets on 31 October.

Blue pumpkin buckets

Blue pumpkin buckets have been adopted as an indicator that the person holding it has autism. The idea initially came from a Facebook post by one mother looking to ensure her son still enjoys Halloween.

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Did you know about the different colours of buckets? (Photo: Shutterstock)Did you know about the different colours of buckets? (Photo: Shutterstock)
Did you know about the different colours of buckets? (Photo: Shutterstock) | Other 3rd Party

The Facebook post read, “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 and he is autistic.

“While he has the body of a 21 year old, he loves Halloween. Please help us keep his spirit alive and happy.”

The association of blue buckets and autism has spread since the initial post, published to Facebook in 2018.

Putting a blue pumpkin bucket outside of your house is also used as a sign that your home is accessible for children with autism.

Autism friendly Halloween

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You can make Halloween friendly for trick or treaters with autism by avoiding using bright flashing lights, loud noises and Halloween jokes that involve jumping out and scaring people.

Children with autism may not respond verbally, make eye contact or understand your Halloween jokes, so don’t assume they’re just being rude.

Teal pumpkins?

In a similar vein, the Teal Pumpkin Project utilises the use of teal coloured pumpkins in their efforts to make Halloween enjoyable for kids with life threatening food allergies.

The project comes from Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).

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“This worldwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all,” FARE explains in a blog post.

This is how to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project:

- Provide non-food treats for trick or treaters

- Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home to indicate you have non-food treats available

- Add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map

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