Significance of colours in India

India has always been exalted and remembered fondly as the country of colours. To a foreigner, its colourful culture, streets, and stories seem like a page out of an ancient folk tale. But colour, in essence, has been a large part of the Indian consciousness. And for a country that is known for its spiritual consciousness, almost everything and anything has profound meaning. This photo feature highlights the significance of some commonly used colours in India.

The Festival of Holi is celebrated with complete zest and fervour and it reflects that colours hold great significance for the people in India. The festival marks the beginning of Spring season and celebrates the abundant colours of Spring. It is a day to end past conflicts and come together with love.

The RED Colour stands for purity and love and hence brides are often in red attires on their wedding day. The vermilion or Sindoor that is red in colour is symbolic of her marital union with her husband. In a larger context, the colour represents fertility and opulence.

India being an agricultural economy, the GREEN Colour here symbolizes a new beginning, harvest, and happiness. As it symbolizes nature and therefore is a manifestation of God himself.

SAFFRON one of the colours in the Indian National Flag is the colour of fire, and therefore symbolic of purity. It also signifies valour and strength.

WHITE stands for serenity. It is pure and spreads the message of peace. In India, white is commonly used while attending cremation ceremonies to bid a peaceful farewell to the departing soul. It is also symbolic of complete disconnection with the materialistic world.

Blue stands for power and life. Lord Krishna who taught mankind the right way to lead life had a blue skin tone, representative of power. The National Bird of India is Peacock which is also blue in colour.

The YELLOW Colour is associated with healing power. Turmeric, widely used in India as a spice and also known for its antiseptic nature is yellow in colour. This colour is used on all auspicious occasions as it is a symbol of holiness.

In India, BLACK is generally associated with the evil. It symbolises darkness and negativity. But surprisingly the same colour is used as an antidote to ward off evil. Hence people use objects made of black colour and hang them outside their homes to prevent evil from entering the house. Even black cotton strings are tied on the wrist and kaajal (kohl) is used to fight negativity.

In a country as diverse and culturally vibrant as India, it is perhaps the common, simple expressions of colour that hold together the multitudes of outlooks, lifestyles, and traditions. The symbolism of colour stands out and controls every aspect of life in India, be it religion, politics, festivals, or celebrations. In India, be it the north, south, west, or east, colour and culture go hand in hand.