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The colours covered are:
Different cultures have different significance for a particular colour. A certain colour which is associated with good luck, can be seen as un-auspicious in another culture. A certain colour is often linked with a particular emotion or environment, depending on their cultural beliefs.
Red colour has the most significance in Indian culture. It is the colour that is associated with prosperity and fertility in India. Women apply red vermillion on their forehead (Kumkum) and scalp (Sindoor), which is the symbol of married women. Red is also associated with passion and desire. Hence it was forbidden to wear by the widows. Red also depicts anger, enthusiasm and strength. Red colour is often used by the worshippers of Shakti or Goddess.
In China, red represents luck and fertility. During the Chinese New Year's celebration, small red envelopes are distributed to symbolise good fortune. In Thailand, red symbolises their Sun God Surya. Red also marks Sunday, as every day of the week in Thailand is represented by a certain colour.
In African cultures red symbolises death and grief. In Nigeria and South Africa, red is associated with violence and sacrifice. The flag of South Africa has red in it to symbolise the violence that occurred during its fight for freedom.
White is a symbol of purity and peace. But in India it is often associated with death and mourning. People wear white clothes during death rituals. White colour does not absorb the energy, hence in earlier times was used by widows as a symbol of detachment. White is associated with higher castes. Most of the religious gurus (teachers) prefer wearing white robes. It is also worn by the Jain monks and nuns as it symbolises spiritual enlightenment
Christian brides wear white dresses on their wedding day. Christian children wear white when baptized. The Pope also wears white as it symbolize purity and sacrifice. Muslim pilgrims wear Ihram, a simple white attire to signify that all are equal in front of God.
The Bedouin (Arab-speaking nomads of the Middle Eastern deserts) associate white with milk. Camel milk is a staple food for the people. This is why white is considered the color of gratitude, fertility, and joy.
Orange colour is usually associated with purity and courage. It is often linked with Hinduism and Sikhism. Hindu and Buddhist monks wear saffron robes.
In Western cultures orange symbolises fall and harvest. It is the national colour of The Netherlands, and symbolises royalty. Orange is also linked with affordability.
In the Middle East, orange is associated with danger, mourning and loss. Whereas in Latin America it is associated with the sun and earth.
Green is associated with nature and fertility. Hence brides in the Deccan part of India wear green saree on their wedding day. Also green bangles are worn by both Hindu as well as Christian brides in Goa. Green also signifies the new beginning.
Green symbolises luck, prosperity, renewal, and jealousy in the United States and Ireland. In the United States, green can mean wealth, hence the colour of the American dollar. On the other hand, a person can be described as 'green' when they lack life experience. In Mexico, green represents freedom and independence. The colour is an integral part of its national flag.
Green also represents respect, which is treated with great care in many Middle Eastern cultures. In Far Eastern cultures, green can symbolise eternity, infidelity, luck, wealth, and fertility. For example, in China, men wearing green hats mean that their wives have cheated on them. In Japan, green represents eternity and vitality.
In India yellow colour is associated with power, wisdom and honor. It is linked with haldi or turmeric. Haldi plays a vital role in Indian weddings.
Yellow is the colour of the Sun. Most cultures have similar meanings for yellow. It is generally associated with optimism, good energy, and cheerfulness. However, it also represents caution and possibility of danger.
In Germany yellow represents jealousy. That’s why they don’t like to give and receive yellow flowers.
In Ancient Egypt, yellow stood for the deity of the religion. However, moving to the eastern part of the world, we can see a lot of varied interpretations of the colour.
In Japan, yellow symbolises bravery and courage. It stands for people that are not afraid of anything. In Russia, people refer to the mental hospitals as “yellow houses”.
Blue is often associated with immortality, love and divinity in India
Blue has both positive and negative meanings. For example, in North America, blue represents trust and serenity, but it can also symbolise depression and loneliness. For example, American banks use blue in their logos because it represents trust and security. Blue is also a symbol of masculinity in North America and Europe, but in China, it is considered a symbol of femininity.
In Ukraine, the colour blue symbolises healing. It is also said to repel evil in countries such as Turkey, Greece, and Albania. Citizens can be seen wearing blue amulets to protect them from evil.
In India black symbolises evilness and rebellion. A black cat is a symbol of bad luck, especially when it crosses your path.
However, African people have a different meaning for this particular colour. It is nowhere near the popular themes it symbolises in the rest of the world. In Africa, the colour black is a sign of masculinity, maturity and age.
In Western Cultures it symbolises sophistication and formality. It is also the traditional colour to wear at funerals, as it symbolises death. Whereas in China it is associated with good health and prosperity. In Japan it represents mystery and feminine energy. In Middle Eastern Cultures it symbolises mystery, mourning and rebirth.