Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Jeidy. Jeidy Wonders, “Why do people wear black to funerals?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Jeidy!
Have you ever had a friend or relative pass away? If so, you've probably attended a funeral service. While a funeral can be a sad time of mourning the loss of a loved one, it can also be a time of remembering all the good times you shared with them.
A funeral service can be a confusing event for a young child. There are many things going on. You're often surrounded by people you haven't seen in a long time. Many people are sad. It can be a lot to take in and comprehend.
One of the things you might notice about a funeral service is that everyone tends to dress up. Attire for a funeral service might be similar to what you would wear to church or a wedding. If you pay close attention, though, you'll notice that there's one common color that most people are probably wearing: black.
Wearing black to a funeral is a longstanding tradition in many areas of the world, particularly in the United States and other Western nations. Funerals are usually somber occasions, and wearing black indicates that you're mourning the loss of someone. It's also considered a sign of respect for the deceased.
Historians believe the tradition of wearing black at funerals dates back to at least the time of the Roman Empire. The ancient Romans would wear a dark toga, known as a toga pulla, to mourn the loss of a loved one.
Many United States customs were passed down from English predecessors. Historians note that Queen Victoria was known for wearing black to funerals to show dignity and respect for those in mourning.
While black is the traditional color of mourning in the West, many other countries around the world have different customs. In India and China, for example, the traditional color of mourning is white. Indian Hindus wear white because it's the color of purity.
Countries throughout Asia and Africa have a wide variety of customary funeral colors. In South Africa and Ghana, red is often worn to funerals. You can also find countries that wear purple (Thailand), yellow (Myanmar), and blue (Iran).