Purple has long been associated with mourning and funerals, but is it truly a color of mourning? In this article, we’ll explore the history of purple as a symbol of mourning, and examine its role today.
The History of Purple as a Symbol of Mourning
The roots of purple as a symbol of mourning can be traced back to ancient times. In Ancient Rome, it was customary to dress in a purple toga for mourning. Later, during the Renaissance period, European nobility wore luxurious purple garments in mourning. This tradition eventually spread to North America. During the 19th century, many American families wore black and purple armbands in honor of the dead.
In some cultures, the color purple has a deeper meaning. For example in Chinese culture, purple is the color of death, and it is said that ghosts cannot find the deceased if they are buried in purple clothing. This superstition has been practiced for centuries and even today, some Chinese families will still dress their dead in purple.
Purple is also a popular choice for funeral flowers. In Christian culture, purple flowers signify the resurrection of the soul, while in Japanese culture, purple chrysanthemums are a symbol of mourning.
Examining the Role Purple Plays Today
Today, purple remains a popular choice for funeral attire. Although it is not as pervasive as many other colors, purple is still associated with mourning and funerals. In some countries, the tradition of wearing purple at funerals is still observed. For example, in India, many people will wear purple sarongs when attending a funeral.
However, purple has also been adopted as a sign of respect for the deceased in other contexts. For example, many people will light a purple candle in memory of their loved ones. Purple is also a popular color for memorials, such as the iconic Tower of Voices at the Flight 93 National Memorial, which is dedicated to the victims of 9/11.
Although purple is no longer always associated with mourning, it still holds a special significance to many people. For many, purple is a reminder of the life and legacy of their loved ones.
In conclusion, purple is indeed a color of mourning, but its symbolic significance has evolved over time. While in some cultures it is still a popular choice for funeral attire, for many it is a reminder of the life and legacy of their loved ones.