Roses are red, violets are blue... Valentine’s Day is coming soon, so what better time to celebrate the colour of the season – red. At this time of year, red is everywhere – card and gift shops stock up on their scarlet love heart covered cards and crimson coloured gifts, waiting for customers to come to prepare for the big event – Valentine’s Day. But what does the colour red mean? Is it just the colour for romance and St Valentine, or does it have a deeper meaning? In the West, red traditionally signifies love and seduction, which of course goes hand in hand with Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the year. In India, conversely, red is a very traditional colour, and is best known for its role in Indian marriage. Brides usually have red henna tattoos on their hands and feet, wear red saris and bangles and dip their feet in red water upon entering their new home with their husband. It symbolises togetherness and the promise of matrimonial bliss, as well as being a colour which represents a woman’s transition from adolescence into adulthood. In India it is the most powerful colour, a holy colour and a colour which gives protection and strength.
Another country which celebrates reddish hues is China. For the Chinese, red is a colour which symbolises their nation. Weddings are full of the colour, with brides often wearing red, and the couple walking down a red carpet strewn in red flowers. They use red invitations and other red stationery and a couple’s new bed is covered in red bed sheets. It is believed to bring happiness to the couple.
The colour is, however, most extensively used during Chinese New Year celebrations, the biggest and most important festival in China. Families create red couplets, which are two poetic sentences written on red paper stating the person’s hopes and dreams for the coming year and are hung on doors and gates. Many people wear red clothes, including red underwear, give money in red envelopes and set off red firecrackers. According to the Chinese, red means fire, which drives away bad luck and evil spirits, so by exchanging red gifts (red lingerie is a popular gift between partners) they are guaranteed a prosperous and lucky new year.
At ananya we are celebrating Chinese New Year by creating exquisite Chinese new year cards exclusive to Harrods to welcome in the year of the rabbit – a much tamer year than the year of the tiger! We also have a gorgeous range of red wedding invitations, which are perfect for those wanting to celebrate their happy day using the luckiest, happiest and most powerful colour in the spectrum – Red.
Until next time...Namaste and enjoy ananya life!