The meaning behind sunsets


Callie Kinsinger

Sunsets boast a variety of colors, depending on the status of the environment, time of day and position of the sun. Light rays cause light scattering, causing different colors to shine through the clouds. Dust particles and pollution also play a role in how the sky looks when setting. These factors determine whether the sky will turn blue, pink and purple, or red, orange and yellow. “If it’s a darker color sunset, it makes me feel more of a relaxed feeling than a lighter sunset. When darker sunsets are really visible I just like to open my window and get stuff done while feeling at peace. Same with a light sunset, but it gives me more of a lay down, chill and listen to music feeling,” freshman Emily Ivers said.

Callie Kinsinger, Reporter

The meaning of sunsets proves much more than a pretty splash of color in the sky. Numerous people look at sunsets as the expression of a lost loved one, feelings of comfort, safety and calmness. To people grieving a lost one, these sunsets symbolize the end of one’s life and the start of a new journey.

Sunsets take place at the end of the day, symbolizing a sense of completion and finalization. After a day full of activity and meaning, a beautiful sunset brings everything to a close. The sun sets each day, a constant motion. Each day, the sunset portrays an ending and the chance to start new fills every following morning. It feels rewarding to most, as they finally gain the chance to let go and observe a beautiful setting. 

A lost family member or friend connects to these sunsets because they, too, have met an end. Beautiful colors paint the sky and numerous connect it to the representation of the celebration of one’s life and the chance to let go. Instead of a sad event, these sunsets make the loss seem like a lighter subject.

“Sunsets are painted by loved ones to me. You may look around and just see a sunset, but once (they mean something to you, they are the most gorgeous thing you’ll see. When you lose somebody you love, it makes you think about them, but you also know they’re proud of you,” freshman Gabrielle Larson said.

Sunsets engraved on headstones continue the symbolization of sunsets. People question whether these displays symbolize sunsets or sunrises, but they actually mean both. It portrays the end of mortal life, but the start of the new afterlife. Instead of constantly grieving over a loss, people obtain the chance to look up to the sky and see the one they lost and see a new beginning ahead. Sunsets can slightly differ, depending on culture and beliefs.

Although the symbolization of these sunsets remains an already discovered idea, it recently became popularized through social media. Online users post pictures of these vivid sunsets because it brings them a sense of comfort that their lost one stands there with them. People can share their grievances with others online to help them heal and cherish the time spent with the lost one.

Sunsets do not always associate with the loss of people, though. In other scenarios, people just enjoy watching a variety of colors fill the sky. Sunsets allow people to stop and enjoy the little things in life. It sparks inspiration and mystery, creating innovative minds. Observing sunsets can bring attention to details and smaller activities, rather than letting life fly by without noticing beautiful natural things right there. They can end days on a positive note and bring a sense of serenity to people.

“I always love watching sunsets no matter who it’s with because when watching them it’s like zoning out the world and focusing on the little things in life. I’ll always love watching sunsets no matter what. One special sunset I saw made me feel safe because I had no care in the world and got to focus on what really mattered to me,” Larson said.

After sunset, the night becomes calm, thoughts collect and the waiting for sunrise begins. The quiet and dark night serves as waiting time for the next morning’s sunrise. Sunrises the next morning symbolize a fresh start and that the day behind exists in the past. The cycle then repeats, making people look forward to a new and unique sunset every day.

“Every day there’s a sunset. It’s always different, but it still gives me the same feeling of relaxation each afternoon. I always find myself having a moment of relaxation when watching the sunset because it brings peace to the world and gives me a total moment of pure peace after a long day,” freshman Emily Ivers said.