India and her Love Affair with Red

Power of Colour Red

The colour red needs no introduction. It is the most powerful colour in Indian culture. It is the shade of love and war, of passion and power and of desire and danger. In India, it also stands for happiness and prosperity and is considered pure and auspicious.

For centuries now, red has also been the colour of marriage in India. The bridal trousseau is mostly red or some shade of it. In fact, a married woman can be identified by red vermillion, which is known as sindoor, worn along the hairline.

Red is a dominating shade in Hindu weddings and even Indian movies show the bride in red bangles and saris. In weddings amongst Hindus, the entry of the bride into her new home after marriage is by the ritual of dipping her feet in red water and walking bare feet on the floor of the house to symbolise the beginning of a new life.

In Indian mythology, Lord Shiva, the destroyer has a third eye between two eyebrows which is known as the Shiv-Netra. Many Hindus in India wear a tilak to represent this third eye. Its customary significance is that of the all-seeing power that protects the inner wisdom of those to whom it is applied.

If you observe, even wedding invitations are mostly red. In most places in India, a guest is welcomed into the house with red vermillion. It is also a colour used for auspicious occasions like marriages and festivals involving the birth of a child. On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, sisters tie a red thread known as Rakhi on the right wrist of brothers. Though now more colourful versions of the Rakhis are tied, the original Rakhi was a simple red thread used in every single Hindu religious ceremony.

During prayers, red powder is also thrown on statues of deities and phallic symbols. It is considered the colour of Shakti (prowess). A red-coloured dress is put on deities who are brave, charitable and protective and who are believed to destroy evil.

Red is a dynamic colour and incites fear. It is also the colour associated with one of the most revered goddesses in Hindu mythology – Durga. Her fiery image is enhanced by her red tongue and her almost-red eyes.

If you are thinking of a trendy wall paint for house, you can opt for the colour red. It is a popular wall paint colour, preferred by many people.


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