It’s that time of the year again when the people of India are all set to get down on the streets to celebrate the good over the evil. It’s that time when to celebrate the beginning of spring and the harvest to come.
It is during this festival that the whole country is painted in the hues of rainbow colours – colours that associate with happiness, new beginnings and love. It is these beautiful colours of nature that fill our lives with warmth and joy. This ‘festival of colours’ not only colours our lives but also gives us a chance to come together and celebrate the joys of life.
And while we have been celebrating this festival of colours with so much enthusiasm and excitement, have we ever wondered what is the significance of its colours? This year, we decided to tell you what the meaning of these colours is and what they signify. Have a look:
The colour blue signifies peace and heavenly living. For a lot of Hindus, a face coloured in blue often reminds them of Lord Krishna since he is portrayed with blue skin. The colour also has its history linked to India. In the first century A.D, Pliny the Elder, a Roman historian wrote about ‘indicum, a production of India,’ which ‘yields a marvellous combination of purple and cerulean .’ It was a dye that was like a muck that stuck to the layer of the river reeds. It originally comes from a bush with small green leaves that when dried and fermented in a dye vat look scummy.
Indigo is the colour of intuition and service to humanity is one of its strength. It is intensive to process and historically been cultivated only where labour was cheap. However, back in the 18th century when slavery was eradicated, the British planted indigo in Bengal where the weather conditions were ideal.
Green symbolises nature, happiness, new beginnings, harvest, and fertility. It is also associated with brides and married women since married women in some parts of India wear green bangles and green saree in Lord Rama’s honour. Since there is no natural green dye in India, dyers often double dip their pieces of cotton and silks in indigo and turmeric, which makes vivid green dyes.
Yellow is synonyms with turmeric and turmeric in India is used at various auspicious occasions across religions. Yellow signifies warmth and brilliance. It is also said that a person who loves yellow has a vivid imagination. While have been no specifications of this color’s origin, some people believe it could have been made by mixing animal urine with turmeric. Also, the 3,500-year-old Rig Veda book of sacred hymns refers to Lord Vishnu as tantuvardhan, known as a weaver, since he is said to have woven the rays of the sun into a garment for himself, which is why you mostly see him and Krishna in yellow clothes.
Red! Red in India is the colour of matrimony. It signifies love, beauty, happiness and blissful matrimony. In 1921, it was the team of archeologists who discovered a fragment of cotton fiber stuck to a vase. This fiber had mostly been dark red, dark orange or deep purple that was dyed from the roots of the madder plant. Woven almost 4,300 years ago, it is one of the oldest pieces of decorated cotton cloth ever found.
Have a happy and safe Holi!