Where Did the Tradition of Wearing Black at Funerals Come From and How Did the Custom Originate?

Today, mourners wear black as a symbol of sadness and respect for their lost loved ones, but it didn’t start out that way.

Many years ago it was believed that the spirit of the departed, fearing harsh judgment, would try to remain on earth by inhabiting a familiar body.

The mourners wore black and stayed indoors or in shadows to hide from the departed spirit who sought to possess them.

These days, most people in mourning wear black at funerals as a sign of respect for the family of the dead.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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