Colours and their meaning
The meaning of colours may vary depending on the culture or situation. Colours can serve as a form of nonverbal communication. They can be used to express emotions, attitudes, opinions or belonging to a certain group. The use of colours can also create the desired atmosphere or influence one's emotions.
In Western cultures, it is the colour of St. Valentine's Day and Christmas. In China, red is the color of prosperity and happiness. It is also used to attract success and good luck. In India and Eastern cultures, brides traditionally wear red wedding dresses. In South Africa, it is the color of sorrow. This color is also associated with symbols of communism.
Pink is also a symbol of femininity in Western cultures and represents the birth of a girl. In Japan, however, this colour refers more to men than to women. In Korea it symbolizes trust. In Latin America it is a characteristic colour of architecture.
In ancient times, snail extracts were used to colour fabrics to purple, so these fabrics were expensive and only the nobility or the rich could afford them. In Thailand and Brazil, widows express their mourning with this colour. It has also several meanings in the Catholic religion. On Easter Friday, priests wear purple robe as an expression of sorrow for Christ. The USA interprets purple as the colour of courage, bravery and strength. They use this colour on one of the highest and the oldest military award - “Purple Heart”.
Blue is also a symbol of masculinity in Western cultures and represents the birth of a boy. In China, on the contrary, it is considered to be a feminine colour. In Greece and Turkey, they believe that the blue can fight the evil. In Korea, dark blue is worn when someone is sad. In Hindu culture, blue is also a colour of Krishna’s skin. In the Middle East, it can also symbolize heaven, spirituality and immortality.
Green has soothing and harmonizing properties. It also symbolizes nature, ecology, spring or Christmas. In Ireland, it is the national colour and is associated with good luck, elves, shamrock and St. Patrick. In Mexico, it is the color of independence and it is part of their flag. In Japan, green is associated with eternity and vitality. In Islamic culture, it is sacred colour of the Prophet Muhammad. In China, it is associated with infidelity.
It is a natural and warm colour. In most cultures it symbolizes the earth and nature. It is also associated with the autumn season.
Gold colour means success, wealth, luxury and prestige in all cultures.
In many Western cultures, it represents curiosity and creativity. Some countries also associate it with wealth. In the Netherlands, it is the national colour and represents the royal family. In Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, it is associated with grief. In Japanese and Chinese culture, it represents courage, happiness, love and health. In India, it is a symbol of fire, the orange saffron spice is considered lucky and sacred. In Ukraine, the colour is associated with strength and courage. The orange colour represents a time when the country came together in 2004 and stood up to the government during one of the biggest presidential election frauds through the Orange Revolution. The orange colour is also associated with the autumn season.
In Egypt, this colour also means sadness. In ancient Egypt, it used to symbolize gods. In Japan, it represents courage and people who are not afraid of anything. In India, yellow is the colour of merchants. In some European countries, it also symbolizes jealousy.
It is probably the most universal colour in the world. Black is used for a variety of occasions. In many cultures the black cat symbolizes bad luck when it runs across the road. It is also the traditional colour of clothing at a funeral. In Africa this colour symbolizes masculinity, maturity and age. In fashion black relays sophistication and mystery.
It is a neutral colour. Although it is considered conservative and formal it can also be modern. It is often used in a corporate environment where the emphasis is on professionalism and formality.
In Western cultures, white is the color of traditional wedding dresses. It is also associated with doctors, dentists, nurses and beauticians. In the Catholic religion, children's clothing is white at baptism and at the first communion. Muslim pilgrims wear simple white clothing, which symbolizes that they are all equal before God. In ancient Egypt as well as in Eastern cultures, colour white is associated with death and sorrow. In India, widows wear this colour is worn by widows.
Vlasta Collu, 05.01.2021