When you see the red color, what do you think of it?
Love? Danger? Luck? Mourning?

Much of your answer will depend on which part of the globe you belong to. The culture you come from abundantly color the meaning you derive from a particular color. Forinstance, white in the West is associated with a blushed bride and is considered as a sign of being in luck while in the East, it has death connotations attached to it.Let’s look at the meanings of colors in different cultures around the world



In Asian and Eastern cultures, red symbolizes luck, happiness, celebrations, and prosperity. That is why, the women living there wear a red dress at their wedding, put red ‘henna’ on their hands and red ‘Sindoor’ in their hairline.

Similarly, in China on New Year Eve red balloons are flown and scattered all around to mark the fortune and fertility in the upcoming year.

Likewise, in Thailand red color symbolizes their Sun god named ‘Surya’. It is also used to represent Sunday when people are happy to have a break in their routine. The other days are given other colors.

On the contrary, in South African cultures, red symbolizes sacrifice, death, and grief. And the tinge of red color in the South African flag represents the violence and bloodshed that occurred during their freedom struggle. In the same vein, in Nigeria, red represents violence, struggles to liberate, and sacrifice.

Yet another meaning of red is found in North, South America, and Europe. That is nuptial love. For instance, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by giving red hearts to loved ones.


Blue witnesses quite a sharp contrast between its meaning in different cultures. In North America and all over Europe, it is considered as the symbol of masculinity while in China it is more associated with femininity.

More interestingly, within the same culture, you will see a lot of dichotomies attached to blue. This means it has negative as well as positive meaning attached to it within the same culture. Take the phrase, ‘I am blue’ spoken by North Americans. It means I am depressed and sad. However, inhabitants of the same culture also take it in the sense of security, trust, and reliability. This is the reason the banks in America such as CitiBank and Bank of America use this color in their logos to win the trust of their client.
As for Asia and the Middle East, blue has a completely different meaning. For Hindus, it is a symbol of immortality as it is associated with ‘Krishna’ who stands for divine love.

In Turkey and Greece, blue is protection from the evil eye. You will see many people out there wearing blue charms for their protection. In Ukraine, blue is a sign of a healing spirit.


In Ireland and the United States, the green color symbolizes rebirth, luck, prosperity, fertility, and jealousy. Green also means wealth to them, therefore the dollar is made green in color.

Another completely different meaning taken by green in American culture is inexperienced. Anyone who is a newbie in any field is said to be green.
In some parts of the world such as Mexico, green symbolizes independence as the color of their flag too suggests the same.

In Muslim culture, an extreme degree of sanctity
is attached to this color. They associate it with their last prophet Muhammad.

Like Western culture, green is considered a sign of fertility, luck, and eternity in Eastern culture.
However, in far Eastern cultures, it means infidelity. You will see many Chinese men wearing green hats which means they were jilted by their wives.

Interestingly, in the same culture, green also means virtue. You will see people wearing jade rings. In Japanese culture, green means vigor and eternity.


While in most cultures, it just represents good luck, pleasure, and courage, in Hinduism it is considered sacred and is associated with religion. You will see Hindus putting orange turbans on their religious festivals. They consider orange as a sacred fire that burns all the impurities away, leaving the souls purified and purged.


This color also has interestingly opposite connotations attached to it in different cultures.

While in most of the world cultures, it symbolizes happiness, as you will see many happy-faced emojis are also colored yellow. There is something bright, something positive, and optimistic attached with yellow for most people. However, you will be surprised to know that Mexicans take it as the symbol of death and mourning. That’s why the authorities would dress the traitors in yellow color.


It is considered an honorable color across the globe. Most of the communities relate it to wealth, royalty, honor, prestige, and spirituality. For example, Americans use it to represent honor and courage. Their high-ranked award is also purple which is given to those veterans who sacrifice their lives to defend the country.

Conversely, Brazilians attach it to disgrace, death, and mourning.


It appears as if every country has two extreme senses of the color black-usually one positive and the other negative.
Let's start with Western cultures. In North America and Europe, it is considered the color of masculinity, power, strength, and control. However, at the same time, it represents mourning and death too.

In the Eastern and Asian worlds, black stands for masculinity and it represents boys in China. It also signifies health, wealth, and prosperity. In Thailand and Tibet, however, it is closely associated with evil.
What’s common in the world’s cultures is the unknown and magic attached to this color


Let's begin with commonalities. Around the world, white symbolizes peace.

In the middle east, it is associated with purity and death at the same time. Both the meanings, however, have holiness associated with them. Egyptians consider white a status symbol. High ranked people dress up in white clothes.
In Asian cultures, it is used at funerals and is strictly associated with unhappiness, grief, mourning, and misfortune.

In the Middle East, people, however, take white as a sign of purity and mourning both.

In sum, understanding the meaning of colors in a different cultural context is quite important as it enables us to communicate in a culturally appropriate and effective way.

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