The meanings of colors may be different around the world. For example, in the Middle East, blue is believed to be a protective color. Doorways are painted blue to ward off evil spirits.
In Iran, blue represents heaven and immortality, so that’s why most of the mosques in that country are shades of that color.
In China, red is a color that brings good luck while in the western world it’s associated with love, passion and revolution. Here are the emotions and cultural characteristics that are linked to cool and warm colors.
The Meanings of Colors: Blue – The Color of Water
It’s most associated with calm and relaxation. It’s the color of the water in an inviting swimming pool on a sweltering hot day and it has a calming effect. In addition to the soothing properties, blue can invoke a sense of depression and sadness, hence the expression “having the blues.”
This color is painted on the walls of prisons and psychiatric institutions in order to maintain a subdued atmosphere. With the exception of blueberries, few foods are naturally blue so this color is thought to be an appetite suppressant.
The Meanings of Colors: Red – The Color of Blood and of Fire
In stark contrast to blue, red is an intense, energetic color and it grabs the attention more quickly than any of the others. Considering how it is used in the English language in such expressions as seeing red, red hot and paint the town red it’s easy to see why it represents things like excitement as well as anger.
Several countries around the world have incorporated red into their national flags to represent the sacrifices made by soldiers. Red has also been used to signify Communist and Bolshevik ideologies on the flags of China and the former Soviet Union. This color is an appetite stimulant since many foods like tomatoes, cherries and strawberries are various shades of red.
The Meanings of Colors: Green – The Global Symbol of Environmentalism
The color of grass and rainforests, green represents fertility, renewal and the abundant varieties of amphibians and reptiles around the globe. It’s also a festive and reassuring color.
When people can see lots of green plants around them it indicates the presence of water and that means there is little risk of drought or famine. So, without realizing it on a conscious level it’s comforting.
On the flip side, green also has negative connotations like jealousy when used in such expressions as green with envy and illness when used in green around the gills. Green is the color of Islam and is widely used on national flags all over the Arab world.
The Meanings of Colors: Yellow – The Color of Caution
A warm color commonly linked to cheeriness, it also represents the light of the sun and therefore can boost confidence and self-esteem. However, it’s also a color used when describing a person with no bravery, as in “he/she has a yellow streak” and being sick with “yellow fever.”
In ancient China during the Ming and Qing dynasties yellow was a royal color. The only man who was allowed to wear yellow garments was the Emperor.
The Meanings of Colors: Purple – The Color of Mysticism and Luxury
Purple was once reserved strictly for the noble classes in Europe. It was the color worn by the Caesars in ancient Rome. It is the last visible wavelength before ultraviolet rays and it’s associated with time, space and the universe.
In the U.S. military, purple represents courage because the Purple Heart is an award given to soldiers who have been wounded in combat.
The Meanings of Colors: White – The Color of Peace
Representing sterility, purity and innocence, white flags are used in wars to signal a peaceful surrender. In Japan, white carnations are a symbol of death and it’s the color of mourning in China.
The Meanings of Colors: Black – The Color of Bad Luck
Black is the total absence of light and is often used as a symbol of menace or evil. It is also popular as an indicator of power, as in black magic. A color that is associated with death and mourning, it’s also considered to be a sign of bad luck when crossing paths with a black cat. On the other hand, this color is one of power and prestige, considering that tuxedos and limousines are black.
Colors play important roles in all cultures. On national flags or on the wall in somebody’s home, colors can send positive and negative messages.