Symbolism of Colors and their Superstitions

Color Yellow, Color Red, Color Green and the Symbolism
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  Iwan Gabovitch

Have you ever given much thought to the Color Red, the Color Yellow, or the Color Green? I know that most people think of color as just another shade in the color wheel. There are even people that are color blind. But did you know that colors actually have different meaning in this universe?
The symbolism of colors is something that goes back a long way. Even into ancient times have people believed that colors have a mystical meaning and power. Some colors and their meanings are, shades of red, often times referred to as a symbol for not only violence, but also love. Imagine that! lol
The color green is normally associated with earthly vegetation, life and decay. But is also looked at as a sign for jealousy. Blue is common with spirituality, cold, defeat as well as calmness. The color Black may suggest something evil or a sign for death. But oddly enough, the color black is also a symbol for fertile soil as well as the sacred stone of Islam.
Of course we must know that since colors have their own special meaning in the universe, then they would also have associated superstitions that go along side that. Let’s go a little deeper into a few of these colors and discuss them in further detail.

The Power of the Color Red

The color red has always been seen as a positive and powerful color. Seeing how red is the color for blood, then this suggests the color itself is the color of life.
For Native American and Chinese cultures the color red may bring happiness, success and great wealth. The Chinese feature the color red in the New Year celebrations. And often times gifts of money will be given that are in red envelopes that have good luck Chinese symbols on the outside.
But on the flip side of this, the color red is also the color of the planet Mars. Often times called the “Red Planet”, which is ruled by the Roman God of War. The month of March and the word “martial” are also named after this God.

Is the Color Green Unlucky

The color green is considered the color of nature and immortality, and it’s also present on many national flags around the globe. But did you know that the color carries a bizarre superstition with it. Throughout the U.K. and U.S. green is thought to be somewhat of an unlucky color.

Records of this superstition go back as late as the 1700s. It’s said that to wear the color green is to bring about death. In 1778 Carl Scheele, a Swedish chemist, was experimenting with the substance known as arsenic. Of course we all know about arsenic right? If not take a look at my post Arsenic, it’s not Just for Killing! But anyway, he actually used arsenic in inventing shades of green he called Scheele’s Green. It really became widely used in making wallpapers and fabrics. Of course Scheele knew that arsenic was extremely toxic, but he never expected anyone to eat their clothes! But come to find out, that if these materials were to become damp, which of course they would, they’re clothes. When submerged in water, these clothes would give off a poisonous gas. This led to many people becoming quite ill and some even died from it!
Here’s an interesting tid bit for you. When Napoleon Bonaparte died in 1821 on the island of St. Helena, there were rumors his death was a poisoning. He had actually died from cancer as the story goes. But when a lock of his hair was analyzed in 1960 it revealed signs of arsenic. Fast forwarding to 1980. There was an analysis done on Bonaparte’s wallpaper and it showed to contain Scheele’s Green! Humm, maybe the rumors of him being poisoned were right?
Needless to say, green arsenic goods finally disappeared in the early 1900s, but I’m sure there are still a few out there that may remember some stories about it.

Lovely Color Yellow

Now let’s talk a little bit about the color yellow. Yellow is known as the color of the sun as well as life. There was actually an Imperial Yellow at one time, that only the emperors of China were allowed to use. Even Buddhist monks will wear yellow garbs before changing to orange after becoming a teacher.
But have you ever heard of the term, “You’re Yellow!” This means that someone is a coward, and some cultures look at yellow this way. Some also believe yellow to be a symbol for sickness and death. Symbolic would be a leaf turning yellow before dying and falling from a tree.
Anyway, this is a little different from my usual posts, or is it? I guess all my topics are pretty random, but either way. I thought some of these things that I’d learned about colors were interesting, so I thought I’d share with you.
Any more cool beliefs or superstitions dealing with colors, let me know by leaving a comment…

Similar Posts

16 thoughts on “Symbolism of Colors and their Superstitions
    1. Absolutely, appreciate the comment. It’s funny how so many things in the world have abstract meanings.

  1. Robert, maybe it will be off topic, but so many times I’ve read that Blue is the most perfect color for marketing. it has a great impact on customers. By the way, have you noticed what colors are twittes, Skype, Microsoft and other giants)) Thanks, was nice to read your post. as always)

    1. That’s very interesting Evan…I actually never noticed that about twitter, skype and microsoft, but you’re right. I have no doubt that there’s something to that.

    1. Yes indeed, they see green as a color of good health and prosperity. I believe they’ve incorporated colors quite a bit into their feng shui practices as well.

  2. Blue is also the color representing the ocean. I find that this representation refers to the phrase “Calm as the ocean.” This has a dual meaning, however, which means blue can also represent fury and chaos. But, even with that, blue is my favorite color and never ceases to calm me 🙂

    1. That’s interesting that you say that… Evan and I were talking about the color blue a few days ago and how it’s a great color for marketing. I suppose it can help build a feeling of trust between you and your clients. 🙂

      1. More than likely because of how much it can calm a person. I know that when I get angry, I just think of things that are blue and I immediatley become happier and calmer 🙂

  3. Blue is a natural color, from the blue of the sky, it is a universal color. It has a calming effect that makes time pass more quickly and it can help you sleep. Since blue is the color of the sky it also means vigilance that is why the American flag has the color blue. Regards.

    1. Very good insight jlqm1976, It’s funny how much we take for granted the colors that we are blessed to see. Everything in the universe has it’s place and purpose. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  4. I don’t understand why there are some people think that yellow is considered as a bad color. I always think that yellow is a pure, bright and cheerful color.

    1. Yah most colors have meanings on both sides of the spectrum. They can be good to some while others appeal to the bad side of them.

      Yellow is no exception, it’s been known to be associated with royalty and the essence of life. While others associate it with cowardice and being a chicken.

      Maybe it’s all in the eye of the beholder. 😉

Comments are closed.