The significance of colour in the Indian culture

  • 10 May 2019

The Indian culture uses colours that have religious and cultural meanings. Let's take a look at what some of those colours mean:


Black represents anger and darkness – death, barrenness and lack of energy. It is used to represent evil and ironically, to ward off evil at the same time. To ward off any evil spirits or evil eye, Indian babies are marked with black paste on their forehead, cheek and under the eyes.


White, on the other hand, represents peace, purity, infertility, asexuality, asceticism, and death. Traditionally if a wife loses her husband, she is expected to give up all forms of worldly pleasures and happiness. A widow would only wear white to show that she has renounced from participating with society and life in general.


Red is the colour of violence and disruption. It is dynamic, incites fear and is associated with the Goddess Durga. Her fiery image is represented by her red tongue and red eyes. Red also represents purity, prosperity and fertility. It is used by brides and symbolises the union between the couple.


Blue is associated with the Lord Krishna. Indians believe that blue is favoured the most by the Creator of the world, which is why blue is everywhere, in the sky and the oceans. It has a masculine quality and is associated with bravery, determination, stable mind, ability to deal with difficult situations and depth of character.


Green represents peace, happiness, life and nature. This is why widows don't wear this colour. Green calms and stabilises the mind.

Photo Source: Rubel & Ménasché

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