As I walked around looking for Halloween images I expected to see ghosts, monsters, skeletons and the like – all of them somewhat spooky. What I didn’t expect to find were so many cute little scarecrows. At first I thought that Halloween had become politically correct, but it appears that scarecrows are valid Hallowe’en symbols. While it’s true that scarecrows can be very scary, those that I saw were not the least bit so.

Scarecrows can be used for both Halloween and fall decorations in modern day culture. Scarecrows are more than just Halloween symbols, they are a symbol of the fall season and the harvest.

Long after all the witches, bats and ghosts have been put into storage, the scarecrow remains. The scarecrow will stay all the way through Thanksgiving, symbolizing the fall harvest and the autumn feast.

However, don’t think this means the scarecrow hasn’t earned its place as a symbol of Halloween. They were used by many cultures in the fields, sometimes with animal skulls as heads. During harvesting rituals the scarecrows would be burned in celebration and the ashes returned to the soil.

Scarecrows are Halloween symbols because no matter what culture and what harvest, their underlying purpose is to instill fear. They always have one purpose, to frighten away intruders and they do it well. Modern day scarecrows have starred in TV shows, comics and movies as terrifying creatures that provoke a sense of dread. (King Halloween)

Taken with a Panasonic Lumix GF1 and Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f4.0-5.6

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