Color in Religion

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Color is significant in many aspects of our lives, including the religious ones.

Here are some interesting facts about what color signifies in various religions:

Buddhists strive to reach the state of Nirvana which is also called “rainbow body” and Hindus celebrate Holi, their spring festival of colors.

Holi - Hindu Fesitval of Colors (NBCNews.com)

  • Red symbolizes blood, fire and life force in Buddhism. In Christianity and Judaism it represents sin as well as blood and fire. In Hinduism, red signifies both sensuality and purity and is the common color of bridal saris and the clothing of brave dieties.
  • Saffron, the burnt-orange color worn by Hindu holy men, represents fire and burning away of impurities in Hinduism. Saffron is also worn by Buddhist monks in India (though in other Asian regions Buddhist monks wear a variety of colors including yellow, brown, dark red, purple, grey and black).
  • Yellow is an auspicious color signifying knowledge, learning, happiness, peace, victory and chastity in Hinduism. Unmarried Hindu girls often wear yellow clothes.
  • Green is the primary color of Islam. Some believe it symbolizes life while others say it was Muhammad’s favorite color. The Qur’an states that green is the color of garments in paradise. In Christianity, green is used to represent rebirth and Christ’s triumph of life over death.
  • Blue is the most common color associated with Judaism, most notably in the decorations of Hanukkah. It represents the sapphire stone of the tablets of the 10 Commandments, as well as water, the sky and kindness. Tekhelet, a dark indigo blue, is always included in the threads of the prayer shawl.
  • Purple is the color of wealth and royalty in Judaism and Christianity. It is also the traditional color of Advent and Lent for many Christians. It is associated with penitence and mourning over Christ’s death on the cross. In Hinduism, purple is the color of the crown chakra.
  • White represents purity, innocence and holiness in Christianity. Judaism also uses white to represent purity as well as air and mercy. In Hinduism white symbolizes purity, cleanliness, peace, knowledge, energy and mourning. Queen Maya, mother of Buddha, is said to have dreamt of a white elephant that is believed to have been Buddha descending from heaven to be born.
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