Thursday, February 14, 2008

Red Around The World

Chinese Wedding Stage originally uploaded by TanzimSaquib.
Ann Hurley - a Woman of Wear-Dated as well as our Ultron carpet fiber color expert - lives and breathes color and product trends. She asked me to share the following with you about red in honor of Valentine's Day...

Now, we've addressed red before in terms of
Red Carpet Treatment and even with ideas to Create Your Own Red Carpet Experience! Here, though, we take a different approach. A global approach to red.

Here goes...

While we often say our world is shrinking and melding, in the world of color each family often has regional and cultural differences. Frequently color has very different meanings in different cultures – yet, other times the significance of a particular color has transcended cultures.

Think about the color red. What comes to mind??

Blood – power -- love – danger – excitement – fire – fast sports cars? The thought of red can even elevate blood pressure and activity levels.

Thus, in Western culture, red is often used in fast food restaurants to motivate patrons to eat quickly.

London's Moving History originally uploaded by canadian pacific.
In England red double-decker buses and telephone booths are national icons.

In the Roman Catholic Church, scarlet red robes - are worn by Cardinals as a symbol of their willingness to defend their faith "unto the shedding of (their own) blood."

In India as well as China, the traditional color for brides is red. In China, the bride, groom and entire wedding party wear red. The use of red ink for the wedding invitations signifies celebration, good luck and success.

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy of nature dating back 3,000 years. This philosophy promotes placement & arrangement to achieve harmony with the environment. Red is very popular on doors that are facing South, inviting prosperity into the home. [Check out Feng Shui and tips on how to apply it to bedrooms, homes and color.]

In Japan, the land of the rising sun, red is associated with the sun god. Japanese children learn from an early age that the sun is always colored red, unlike our children who usually color it yellow or orange.
Cardinal Rule originally uploaded by beesquare.

In Russia, red has been the symbol of danger and revolution and is still associated with the Communist party.

Ironically, the root word of red means “beauty.”
Trivia Question: The red color of a cooked lobster is actually a carotene pigment that is held in bond. When cooked, this dark green crustacean turns bright red due to a chemical reaction affecting the carotene. Which 20th century painter used the lobster as his symbol, and utilized this color in several of his works?

Answer: Salvador Dali

As much as we associate Valentine's Day with flowers and candies and Western sensibilities, you might be surprised in reading the Valentine's Day description from Wikipedia to discover a global interpretation to the day. And, if you consider global in terms of a trip through time, you might enjoy this fascinating history of St. Valentine's Day. No surprise, it associates the following colors with Valentine's Day:

Pink - representing "warmth and loving kindness"
White - capturing "purity, faith, and devotion [i.e., the absence of passion and emotion]", and
Red - the color of the human heart, symbolizing "passion and deep affection"

[For more, consider
The Origins of Valentine's Day.]
Also, check out Ann's recent Ultron Color News. It features the color red...

Happy Valentine's Day!

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