Hinduism attaches a spiritual meaning to almost every color. Green, for example, is associated with festivity and nature. But as a religion of the East, with 80 percent of the Indian population identifying as Hindu, many colors and their religious meanings differ widely from Western associations. Take white -- brides often wear white in the West to symbolize purity, but in India, Hindu widows wear the color to represent mourning.
In Hindu tradition, red signifies life and passion, and is omnipresent during festive occasions. Often Hindus will put a red dot, or tika, on their forehead before any type of celebration. Red also symbolizes purity, and therefore particularly associated with weddings. Brides wear red jewelry, color their hair with red powder and wear a red sari, the traditional Indian female dress . Shades of red also decorate temples, as well as the statues of deities within.
Yellow in the Hindu religion symbolizes stability and knowledge, and spring. But saffron, a bright shade between yellow and orange, holds a unique sacred meaning. In Hinduism, swamijis are those who have renounced earthly desires to live their lives in pursuit of God. Swamijis, distinguished in society, are recognized by bright saffron colored robes that symbolize fire, purity and the Supreme Being.
Hinduism associates blue with the gods. Lord Krishna, whose name means"dark as a cloud," is often shown with blue skin. He's revered for his many miracles, his legendary status as a lover and for his mischievousness. Blue also symbolizes bravery and determination in artistic depictions of Krishna.
Hindus celebrate all colors during Holi, a religious holiday to greet the arrival of spring. The festivities include singing, dancing and throwing colored paint and powders for dancers to smear all over their clothes and bodies. The holiday represents the triumph of good over evil in Hindu legends, drawing upon bonfires, high energy and bright colors, particularly in northern India.
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