Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sue's Corner: The Significance of Color

Color, and its use, have assumed great significance in the human experience.  Certain hues carry associations that seem to be nearly universal. White is for weddings.  The good guys in western movies wear white hats; the bad guys wear black ones.  A coward is said to be “yellow”; a sad person is “blue,” etc.  With just a little thought I’m sure you can come up with plenty of examples.
In accordance with this concept, we find that holiday observances usually include traditional color use around most of the world.  For instance, the color red, sometimes accompanied by its lighter tint of pink, is inextricably linked to Valentine’s Day.  It’s all about love, and red is the color of passion.  Pretty red and pink heart-shaped designs are sure to be seen just about everywhere – on greeting cards, candy boxes, and gifts of all kinds.
St. Patrick’s Day, which originated in Ireland, calls to mind the color green.  After all, Ireland itself is a very green country.  And then there are four-leaf clovers and leprechauns (who always wear green, don’t they?).
Is there any place in the world that orange and black don’t call to mind Halloween?  It is thought that orange is included because it is the color of autumn (leaves and pumpkins), while black symbolizes darkness and scary creatures and spirits.  Bats are scary; black cats are “bad luck.”  Actually, black is also the color of just about every monster every imagined.
Blue and white, the traditional colors of Hanukkah, probably come from the Israeli flag colors, which, in turn, refer to Biblical roots concerning the colors of the robes worn by the clergy.
Right now, no matter where you look, you are seeing a whole lot of red and green.  You can’t help but be surrounded by its representative colors of red and green, in the lights on houses, the windows in stores, even the clothing that people wear to parties.  Research suggests that the green is meant to symbolize the color of trees as well as the leaves of holly berries that were hung in homes for thousands of years during winter, both to brighten up a gloomy atmosphere and to serve as a reminder of the coming spring.  The red comes from the holly berries themselves, or – some say - the apple from the story of Adam and Eve.  Interestingly, red was also the color of the robe worn by St. Nicholas, who later morphed into today’s Santa Claus, who, of course, always wears a red suit.
Now, since we Hatters have donned our colors, it appears obvious that the combination of red and purple has become recognizable in public consciousness.   Most people seem to know what a group of smiling women wearing red and purple are all about.  And a lot of them also recognize the similar meaning of pink and lavender worn by our “youngsters.”  Our colors have become shorthand for a whole bunch of positive ideas, including friendship, fun and high spirits.   And all of this has come about in the (less than) 16 years we’ve been around!
I hope this makes you proud!
All of us at Hatquarters wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a special Kwanzaa and any other special occasion you may be celebrating this month!  May the spirit of love and joy fill all of your warm hearts!

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