Halloween is fast approaching and those trick-or-treating or handing out candy may come across some teal or blue pumpkins at doorsteps on Thursday night.
The pumpkins signify different things, and serve as a way to make the spooky holiday inclusive for all ghosts and goblins who are out that night.
According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the Teal Pumpkin Project is a worldwide movement that creates a safer, happier Halloween for all kids – particularly those with food allergies.
“Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys,” the FARE website says. “This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions.”
Have you heard that teal is the new orange? Join the #TealPumpkinProject to raise awareness of #foodallergies. Put a teal pumpkin on your doorstep to signal the addition of non-food treats making Halloween more inclusive for all trick-or-treaters. https://t.co/MoWWsp1mu4
— FARE (@FoodAllergy) September 24, 2019
Those that choose to put a teal pumpkin on their doorstep pledge to provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. They can also add their home to a Teal Pumpkin Project map, showing how many teal-pumpkin homes are in the area.
The map shows that there are about 30 homes in Greater Victoria that have pledged to be a part of the Teal Pumpkin Project so far.
Another Halloween awareness campaign that has surfaced on social media uses blue buckets or pumpkins to indicate that the person using it may be autistic or that the household is showing understanding and acceptance to those who are.
The non-profit organization Autism Speaks, which can be found in Canada and the U.S.A., has posted on its Facebook pages to make others aware about the campaign.
The U.S. Facebook page for the organization quotes a mother who speaks about her son using a blue bucket on Halloween.
“‘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!,’” the post reads. “‘While he has the body of a 21-year-old, he loves Halloween. Please help us keep his spirit alive and happy.’”
But the blue pumpkin campaign has also been met with some resistance from community members. One Twitter user tweeted about members of the autistic community asking people to skip using blue pumpkins.
“Having already vulnerable kids carrying a sign of their vulnerability is never smart,” the Tweet reads. “Singling out your kid and outing their diagnosis is really not cool.”
The tweet also mentions that the blue pumpkins can also be confused with the teal ones.
— Savs Nova 👻 (@coffretchi) October 23, 2019
The Autism Speaks Canada Facebook page has also advocated for the blue pumpkins, but the post on its page says to put one at your door to “help increase understanding and acceptance for individuals with autism.”