If there is one culture that uses colour symbolism really well, that would be the Chinese community. They have a deep connection to giving colour significant meaning in their everyday life.
And when it comes to the Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, red is everywhere you look.
Why is red their go-to colour for celebrations?
That’s because in China, culturally, red represents fire and energy, and it’s become a symbol of vitality, celebration, good fortune, good luck, and prosperity.
If you see little red envelopes being handed out, these are called ‘hong bao’. They are filled with money to wish you good luck and good fortune for the year ahead.
What is colour symbolism (colour in culture)?
I find it absolutely fascinating to look at the different meanings colours traditionally hold in different countries and the way this permeates every facet of life, from what people wear to what they eat, their daily rituals and grand ceremonies, on a personal level and across society.
Colours are understood differently in different cultures because of the meaning those colours have within that culture.
Sometimes these have gained symbolic significance over many generations, if not hundreds or even thousands of years. Often the original reason may no longer be known, slipping into folklore.
Giving meaning or association to a colour is our human way of seeking meaning within our environment, usually formed out of religious beliefs or from nature.
For the Chinese community, red has come to be their symbol of good luck, good fortune and prosperity.
Does red hold symbolic significance in your culture?
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Wishing you a colour filled day!
Extracts from The Little Book of Colour
Image: Jason Leung via Unsplash.
The history behind giving red pockets.