Colours In Chinese Culture: What Do They Mean And Symbolise

Colours are here and there, everywhere. In Chinese culture, certain colours play a more prominent role than others, some colours more auspicious than others.

Growing up, this sentiment was what my Chinese-Malaysian parents taught me – that some colours we should see more of as a Chinese person, and other colours we shouldn’t pay too much attention to.

Colours all around us, from past to present to the future | Weekly Photo Challenge: Delta.

Colours all around us, from past to present to the future | Weekly Photo Challenge. Delta.

Each colour has different meanings in each culture. Different cultures perceive different colours differently. Different colours speak differently to each community and individual over time, past and present.

The Five Elements Theory historically underpinned colours and their symbolism in Chinese culture. Originating around 700-460 BC, the philosophy describes the relationships between elements and their corresponding colours: wood (green), fire (red), earth (yellow), metal (white), water (black). These traditional five colours tend to be the more popular and are seen as the luckier colours among Chinese people:


Red is an auspicious colour in Chinese culture, representing luck, happiness, celebration and prosperity. It often resembles boldness, a colour which is capable of warding off evil spirits – light over darkness. Chinese New Year decorations are awash with red packets and red firecrackers. Chinese brides typically wear red. Red lanterns are hung during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Red eggs are used to mark a kid’s first birthday. It’s a colour that’s forbidden at Chinese funerals.

Red has also long been associated with the notions of fight, flight and victory in Chinese history. During the Zhou Dynasty, a red raven was symbolic of the dynasty; the Red Eyebrow Rebellion restored the Han dynasty, led by peasant rebels who painted their eyebrows red to distinguish their tribe.

I’ve always been rather ambivalent about the colour red. It’s never a colour I like to wear or decorate my space with. As a kid, I thought a bright red shirt on me was hideous and screamed, ‘Look at me’ and I still do today.

Yellow (and Gold)

Traditionally yellow symbolises royalty, power and wealth among the Chinese. Centuries ago, it was a colour worn by emperors commanding dynasties, and the Yellow Emperor has been widely known to have founded China. Gold inglots were the currency in China up until the 20th century. The Yellow River runs through the prosperous golden regions of Northern China. Aside from red, yellow is also part and parcel of Chinese New Year decorations. In short, it’s a colour commonly associated with the higher echelons of society, a colour associated with an esteemed way of life.

These modern days in China, the colour yellow is associated with sexually explicit connotations and pornography, materials loosely called ‘yellow picture’. The fruit banana is predominantly yellow, and on a side note, in 2016 China banned erotic eating of the fruit on online live streams so as to tone down local online broadcasting.

Some colours speak louder to us than others.

Some colours speak louder to us than others.


Green is commonly tied to nature’s surrounds among the Chinese community: growth, spring, harvest and health. In short, it’s symbolic of new beginnings and renewability.

Notably, the greenish coloured stone jade is highly popular among the Chinese, a stone often used to make jewellery and dragon sculptures, and used in exchange for 15 cities during the Warring States period. Confucius likened this stone to virtue and representing purity, loyalty and justice.

Green is one of my favourite colours. Not only is it the colour of my star sign Taurus, it’s a colour along with blue that immediately pulls me in visually and emotionally, making me feel a sense of peace.


On one hand white symbolises purity and innocence in Chinese culture. In line with feng shui, white cranes are often thought to fly high over dusty Chinese towns. The colour also represents the epitome of Chinese beauty: during the Tag Dynasty, makeup for women first involved powdering faces white with rice powder. On the other hand it’s symbolic of mourning, death and the colour worn at funerals and associated with ghosts festivals.


Black represents destruction, disasters and evil to many typical Chinese. The colour is often used within phrases describing unfortunate situations: in terms of Chinese characters, black is written as 黑 (hēi). ‘黑心’ (hēixīn) means wicked heart. In Chinese history, the impartial judge Bāo Zhěng (包拯) was easily recognised by his dark skin and black moustache. However, black isn’t always seen in a negative way: it’s associated with black mythological dragons (Xuanlong /玄龍 or Heilong / 黑龍]) and the black tortoise/Dark Warrior was believed to have the powers to control rain, typhoons and floods.

When I was a teenager, my fashion sense was ‘punk edgy’ (and it still is today). I wore black jeans and a black shirt and had choppy black layered hair. Not only did I think the colour was cool, it was a colour which I felt made me blend into the background. My mum disliked this, complaining I looked like I was ‘going to a funeral all the time’ and I ‘dressed like a dead person’ with my long black fringe sweeping across my face.


Like the colour black, blue has contrasting connotations among the Chinese. Blue symbolises immortality, healing and calmness. It’s commonly mixed with the colour green, arising the amalgamated colour qing (青). Blue represents heaven: the Temple of Heaven’s roof consists of blue-glazed tiles, a place of peace, symbolic of heaven in the sky. On the other hand, blue is commonly worn by scholars; rumour has it the god of examinations Kuí Xīng (奎星) committed suicide and so considered an unlucky figure in Chinese culture.

Some colours hit closer to the heart than others.

Some colours hit closer to the heart than others.

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As for other colours: brown represents the ground, similar to the earthly connotations of yellow in Chinese culture. Purple is a mark of healing, romance and associated with Chinese astrology. Orange is symbolic of strength, change and continuity.

The Yin and Yang philosophy – black and white Yin and Yang symbol – is steeped in Taoism and Chinese culture, dating back to around 3 BCE. According to the philosophy, everything in the universe consists of two opposing forces that complement each other, and life happens in cycles. For where there is yang, there is yin and vice-versa: just like how there is day and night and vice-versa.

Consequently, some colour combinations are luckier than others. Red and yellow are side by side, staple colours of Chinese New Year decorations, doubling one’s wealth and prosperity in the metaphorical sense. In the five elements chart, red (fire) is directly opposite black (water) – in typical Chinese homes, it’s auspicious to have the colour red representing invigoration and also earthlier, neutral colours to represent stability – generating good fengshui.

Notably in 2011, Dulux Paints conducted a study involving participants from over 30 countries; it found blue was the overall favourite colour and among both males and females, and in Asia people tend to paint yellow, pink and light blue tones for their walls at home. Also, through a sample of 1,974 staff and students, a study on gender norms by The University of Maryland found blue was the favourite colour. In 2009, the Universty of British Columbia found blue helps us think outside of the box.

These days, blue is my favourite colour. Everywhere I go, I gravitate towards the colour blue and want to be surrounded by blue. At home, my bedsheets are blue. The clothes I usually wear to work and for running errands are blue top and blue jeans. I like taking notes on a blue coloured notebook at work. I like writing with a blue coloured pen. Some of my stuffed monkeys are blue in colour.

Some colours we simply just feel a connection to.

Some colours we simply just feel a connection to.

Different colour shades of a colour can give us a different feeling or different vibe in a moment in time. If we are colourblind, colours might probably not mean much to us. Research has demonstrated our cultural upbringing, personal preference and experiences often have an impact on how colours impact us individually. How we perceive colours is an extension of our personality, what we stand for and what we believe in.

Maybe the colours I like and dislike says something about how I feel about Chinese culture. When I was a kid, around 3-5 years old, my Chinese-Malaysian mum was fond of dressing me up in a bright red jumper and matching bright red pants for pre-school. I hated this. While I think red is an ugly colour on me, it doesn’t feel ugly or out of place at all come Chinese New Year. There’s something very inviting about the colours red and yellow whenever I pass by a Chinese temple. Or a Chinatown somewhere in the world.

Colours. They make you see. They make you feel.

What is your favourite colour and why?


273 thoughts on “Colours In Chinese Culture: What Do They Mean And Symbolise

  1. What a fabulous and informative post Mabel. It’s nice to learn about symbols and cultures of other countries. I’m often attracted by the color red and wear many red clothes. Often, I’ve heard people say red is a power color and some are intimidated to wear such a ‘loud’ color. Hear me roar! 🙂 xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Allo Mabel, thanks for sharing this – I learned some things I didn’t know about what Chinese culture thinks of certain colours.

    Green was my first favourite colour, though I’m not sure for what reason that was. Green means ‘go’ at the traffic lights? Green for colouring in pictures? In middle of primary school I started picking pink more often (eg when choosing coloured drinking straws) – not because I really liked it for aesthetic reasons but because I wanted to buck the prevailing stereotype of ‘blue is for boys and pink is for girls’. Later, though, with an understanding that certain behaviours are incorrigibly associated with masculine and feminine identity, and with western views on sexual relationships becoming increasingly distorted and confused over time, I did end up switching to blue as my default or favourite colour. It’s certainly what I wear most often – more on the darker shade of the spectrum right up to navy blue and black – and like you I never really liked the garishness of bright red clothing. Though I do have a darker red shirt that’s not too bad in that regard. And having just come back from the Pilbara last Friday I’m reminded of how beautiful the land there is, the soil being a distinctive red colour from the haematite and other iron ores in the ground.

    I was aware that red is very much preferred in Chinese culture and black is generally avoided (opposite of accounting!), I wonder if the association of red with the communist movement had an influence on Chinese thinking even if only on a subconscious level. Red and gold often seems to go together in Chinese materials (like fung bao!), but I didn’t know about the association of yellow with pornography… I vaguely recall the expression of a ‘blue movie’ to mean something similar in English.

    In western culture, funerals and mourning seems to be associated with black, which I suppose is why your mother complained about your dress preference. But do you mean that white is worn more often at Chinese funerals? Interesting contrast there. Certainly, growing up in high school I noticed black clothing was associated with the ‘goth’ sub-culture of the day.


    • If you’d mention what green meant at traffic lights, I’d certainly say it means go. Safe. Time to get on with our lives. Green to me also means a connection with our natural surrounds. Lovely to see you break down colours in different contexts, and interesting to hear about picking pink straws at school. Sometimes we can be more sensitive to certain colours, and colours can be misleading in the context of the status quo. Doesn’t sound like you wear that dark red shirts much. Maybe you tend to wear it for more formal occassions.

      Hope it was a great trip to the Pilbara. I’m guessing seeing the outback land as it is was a treat for the eyes. I’ve yet to make my way to the outback anywhere in Australia, and it does sound like the land and rocks out there can be just as red as others have talked about.

      History certainly has an impact on the present. The communist era was a significant one in Chinese culture, and one that some still believe in today. White is worn at Chinese funerals, though black is also not unheard of. Agree that black is associated with ghetto-subcultures, and it still is today.


      • It was an exhausting time away, but definitely worth it. The rest of the team is still there (I went during the first of the two weeks this year), they return on Thursday night.

        Speaking of colours, I’m just going through my photos now – most of them are private (caring for children, etc), but I have put a few shots publicly. It’s a bit hard to see in this one but you can see a little of the red soil in the foreground.

        Regardless of the context, many colours are good. Monochromaticity is so boring. (:


        • Such a lovely shot on a break, Simon. Stunning colours and looks like you captured a peaceful moment and place in time. Red rocks indeed in the background, and views like that aren’t something many of us see everyday.


  3. Never been a fan of red, myself, too. I used to be obsessed with blue, until I realized my wardobe was filled with blue and then I decided I needed some variety and change. So I decided green would be my favorite. 😀

    But when it comes to clothes, I no longer have a blue-dominated wardrobe or even a green one, it’s colorful. And my home is too. I’ve noticed over the years that I love brights and prints. Fun post, Mabel!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, my fellow Taurean has similar tastes with me. For a while I had a lot of blue in my closet, and late last year I invested in some green articles of clothing 😀

      Sounds like your bright wardrobe is a positive one. Go Lani! I’m not a huge fan of animal prints, though. Just not me and my taste.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Animal prints are okay, but they can’t take over the wardrobe (for me). Just a little here and there is fun. I actually am not a fan of plaid or scotch, not sure what you call it in OZ. But since everyone likes to dress me, I often have clothes that I would never pick out for myself.


      • Oh, yes, you just reminded me that Lani’s a Taurean as well! I also love blue and certain shades of green. I also do like black, Mabel (not that it’s a color). I don’t specifically see it as sad.

        I don’t like too many prints and I hate wearing clothes that shows off the brand, regardless of whether it’s expensive enough (almost never) or not.


          • I could make a few exceptions, but that will depend on who/what is on my shirt, how large it is going to be, if it has a relevant message, that sort of thing. Also, as said, i don’t like showing off brands. I don’t want to be associated with any.


              • I don’t look at the brands, in fact, I often veer away from them because they usually cost more–you don’t buy the quality anymore but the name. But I do admit I’ve bought a few in the past because I really liked certain items off their racks. Meanwhile, unless it’s a souvenir shirt from a musical I watched or a concert maybe, shirts with brands printed in front is a no-no for me. I think I own just three shirts from musicals for now.


  4. What a lovely read! 😀

    I’m curious, and I know this is a bit of an odd question, but my boyfriend’s mom says it is bad to wear a watch with a black strap on your right wrist. I understand that black is bad and clock sounds like death. But do you know if there is any superstition regarding wearing a black watch on your right wrist? :p


    • I have never heard of this colour and wrist watch superstition at all. That said, I have never seen anyone in my family wear a wrist wach that has a black strap – it’s usually brown or some other color. Just not black. Food for thought 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I always learn many new things from your blogposts, Mabel. And you write them so well. Colours are interesting, and as you say, maybe your favourites change over time. You also state that certain colours you do not like to wear – but not because you do not like the colour, but because it does not look right on you.
    I like most colours, but wear only a few – or have to use a mixed coloured blouse to be able to use certain colours at all. Some of this thinking is because of our skin colour. Dark skinned people could wear any colour, but my fair skin and hair cannot easily combine with some colours. Yellow – a colour I love otherwise – is impossible for me to wear, and so are cold blue colours. At least close to the face. So, jeans are one of my favourites to wear, but they are combined with tops or pullovers in colours that match my skin colour.
    My favourite colours are green, linen, purple and black. Colours i cannot stand (!) and are never to be found in my home, are pink, turquoise and dark blue. They might be there in other combinations, but I would never buy anything single coloured of those to decorate my home….
    And just like you say – not because I do not like the colour in itself, but they just don’t fit in with my style.
    Green – forest, yes. As the forest and trees are my life, I guess I want to feel a part of it by wearing the same colour? I used to wear much brown as well – another earthy colour. Nowadays I have lightened that up and wear a great deal of orange. If I open my closet…(wait a sec, and I will…) the overall impression is….green/orange/black. My jeans collection is…black, blue, green and a pair of beige ones as well.
    A short look into my three closest rooms (wait a sec…) reveals…a green bedroom, an orange and brown kitchen and a green (all the plants and flowers) and brown livingroom. Light brown and black furniture and floor, and then everything else in other colours.
    The most wanted and appreciated colour, according to scientific research, is blue then. Do I have blue somewhere in my life? Yes, my little summerhouse is all light blue and pink inside. These are the colours of that part of Sweden called Blekinge. It is in their typical dresses and clothing and in their linen ware. Out there I love it. The colours are very soft, and that blue shade is even named “Blekinge Blue” in Swedish.
    so, I guess you could like all colours when they are found in their right positions, in their right environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is interesting to hear your perception of colour and how you dress.’they just don’t fit in with my style’ Very honest right there. True that some colours go well with our skin, compared to other colours. It sounds like you know what works for you, and I suppose your closet changed some colours over the years. I also like wearing jeans. Generally I prefer dark blue jeans, or mid-blue. I find light blue jeans are harder to match with clothing. Your black jeans sound versatile and that they can go with most tops in your closet. Hopefully they don’t give you a headache when you wash them.

      Your house sounds like it is decorated with earthly colours, and it must feel earthly and homely to the body and mind. Didn’t know that blue was a big part of Swedish culture. Come to think of it, the Ikea logo that is quite well known around the world is blue and yellow. A colour that suits in their right environment? A good thought and very much possible. For one, our tastes change over time and sometimes a certain colour is a part of our culture and we simply feel the urge to acknowledge and respect it. Thank you so much as always for your spirited comments, Leya. They always add so much depth to the discussion.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello mabel. How have you been?
    I need to ask you that have you felt the different powers or you may say effects of these colours. And do they really leaves such an impact as you mentioned.shreyans


  7. Mabel, these are interesting facts. I especially found the comments about yellow to be fascinating. Thanks for sharing so that I can continue to learn about other cultures. Make it a great day.


  8. Hi Mabel! Such an exhaustive post on colours and their cultural significance! Yes, certain colours pull the heartstrings the way other colours can’t… personally I get attracted towards a particular colour for some time and then it changes but blue is my all-time favourite! 🙂 Glad I stumbled upon your post here!😊😊


    • Thank you so much, Kokila 😊 You said it very nicely, that colours pull the heartsrings. High five, I love blue too. The colours we like can depend on so many things, like where we’re at in our lives and certainly our moods. Hope you have a good day 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Colours In Chinese Culture: What Do They Mean And Symbolise — Mabel Kwong – MobsterTiger

  10. I love this post, dear Mabel…
    Some people might say that Feng shui is a fad… But I firmly believe in the power of colors when it comes to a space (wher you live, or spend time: such as an office).
    I have recently read that Blue is the best color for Instagram… It was a Youtuber who said so… she basically recommended that to follow the trend you could just use a blue filter… in case you weren´t posting pics including blue…
    I was surprised to learn from your post that Yellow symbolises royalty, power and wealth among the Chinese. I would nod in agreement as to “Gold” though… But, do you know what?. Yellow is associated here withh Envy… and the color which neutralizes it is… supposedly Red…. this is a belief among actors, rich people, celebrities… That´s why they sometimes wear a red ribbon in their wrists 😉
    Thank you for sharing, linda…. sending love across the miles! ⭐


    • You and I think alike, Aqui. Colours are a powerful thing and they can pull me in different directions. So interesting to hear that blue is the best colour for IG…it is a very relaxing colour after all. Also eye opening to know that red neutralises yellow among the rich and famous. For me, those are the two colours are like to avoid….and I suppose that is the introvert in me 😀 Sending you hugs across the world, linda ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Extremely interesting, Mabel. There is a marked similarity with the Indian perception of colours. Red is considered as auspicious. So brides wear read in Bengal (in the eastern part of India). In the one or two Chinese temples that I have been to, the decor was in red. Gold is again considered as auspicious all over India. Green is associated with harvest, prosperity, and blue with serenity. The blue glazed tiles in the Temple of Heaven look absolutely fabulous. Black is usually not worn during ceremonies or auspicious occasions. There is a debate on white. Since white is associated with purity (abstinence), widow women in many parts of India used to wear white. However in some parts of India, like in Kerela, brides wear white saree with a golden border. Interesting to know that blue happens to be the favourite colour in most parts of the world. It is a colour that one can wear on all occasions. 🙂


    • So interesting to hear that colours in Indian culture have their similarities. Gold I did not know was also auspicious among Indians and it is a significant part of some of the architecture in India.

      The significance of white is also interesting to hear and its connection with purity. In Chinese culture, it can be quite the ambivalent colour. Growing up, my family always said it is more auspicious to wear another colour with white. So maybe you are on to something, Somali 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My favorite is gray, with a hint of blue in it (my wife hates both, she is more multi-colored!). So that way we would be a good match.

    I commented long back on the significance of white and black in our culture in one of your posts. This post is good follow-up to that.

    I agree that certain colors are more prominent among certain cultures. Our walls are off white or yellowish too. Colors can the biggest turn-ons (or offs) for certain activities…maybe those live banana acts were doing the earlier.


    • Gray! And I see that you are decked out in gray in your profile pic. I am getting more and more into grey and realise it is a colour that can go well on any occasion. Agree with you. Sometimes colours can be more distracting than we think, and maybe it is best to stick with colours that resonate with us.

      You are very thoughtful, Alok. I feel as the years go by, my thoughts and hence writing become more deep 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Interesting post as always, Mabel. I guess many people do not give much thought as to why they are drawn to a particular colour or the associated contexts with it. I think previous generations did do that much more than we do. It seems to come down to personal preference these days. My mother would never let me wear black when I was growing up – and it is funny but now people say I suit black!!! ( my hair is blonde so black on me makes a good contrast!) And black is in fashion for corporate wear – is that right? I am not always keeping up with fashion. I do like a dark red in decor – but tend to like more white and blue these days – but still have a lot of black in my wardrobe.
    I loved all the history you posted and one can absolutely see why clothing and historical trends favoured one or another colour.
    P.S. I find it hard to imagine Punk Mabel – heheh!


    • The idea of contrast is an interesting one. On one hand, you match two contrasting colours you’d think they’d come out garish. On the other hand, as you mentioned, black goes well with those with blonde hair, or Westerners. You are right in that black is the staple fashion for corporate wear. It is the norm at many places where I’ve worked, and no one bats an eyelid if you wear black all the time in the office.

      Dark red is quite a common colour with many Chinese ornaments at home, and I’ve seen some Chinese houses with dark red patterned carpets too. I’m definitely much more punk-rocker than many think, and I allude to this again in my next post 😀


  14. Great read, Mabel!

    I love blue and it seems to dominate my wardrobe – pale blue, royal blue, navy, etc. However, I also have a thing for red and black clothes, too! However, I do have some colorful and bright shirts and skirts that I like to wear during summer.

    I hope all is well in your world and you are having an amazing summer. I love reading your updates on instagram.


    • You’ve always come across as a very stylist, put together woman, Constance. Sounds like you mix and match colours and know what looks good on you. I hope you are enjoying every bit of summer with your little family, and all is well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, Mabel! Thank you, but you are way too kind.

        Life is great these days. My break from social media was what I needed to recharge and become inspired once again. I miss posting on IG as it is kind of ‘a collection of moments and memories’ for me, so I think I will post from time to time on it again. Our son is keeping us busy these days. Walking has brought a new wave of self-confidence and bravery for him which means we have to watch him like a hawk.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. My favourite colour is pink, like a salmon coloured pink, my stationary is generally pink in theme, my bedding includes big splashes of pink made more mature by having an aloe and lavender plant by the bed. I tend to wear lots of different colours, not just pink. Fun to think about, thanks little sis.

    Your posts are always so thought provoking. I like that your world is coloured blue too. 🙂


    • Awwww, you like pink! I used to be crazy about pink when I was a kid and early teens, and though that phase has passed, pink still has a special place in my heart. I can just imagine how happy pink makes you feel, big sis. After all, it is such a bright and cheery colour 🙂 Hugs across the miles to you xxx


  16. Wonderful and informative post, Mabel. I enjoyed your insight on your favorites and color experiences, especially your mother’s opinion about you wearing black as a teenager.


  17. This was an interesting and informative post, Mabel. I LOVE discussions and theory about color. Blue has always been my favorite—many shades of blue. Green and pink are the next ones. That’s interesting that white is worn to funerals and a symbol of mourning. Black is the North American and European color of mourning as you know. My daughter dresses too much in black too, LOL. I use red and green in my kitchen and find it fun and vibrant. I don’t wear much red though. That is so cute your mom dressed you in red as a young preschooler. I guess that’s one of the reasons you don’t wear it today!


    • We are very similar, liking various shades of blue. Interesting to hear you deck out your kitchen in red and green – they generally are two contrasting colours but it sounds like you make the two colours work. Haha, I’ve never liked the colour red. It was just ‘too out there’ for me!


  18. Oh god , thank you for posting such wonderful stuff. I’m a mixed chinese with malay and indonesian-java. I never knew there is such thing ‘colors’ meaning to Chinese culture? It is such a kind and I would say, serendipitous to digest your posts after a busy working day.


    • Thanks for the kind words, Joseph. Hope work wasn’t too stressful for you. Colours are so interesting, and different colours have a different story depending on which culture we’re from and where we’ve been.


  19. As a color addict and history but this post spoke to me. I knew the importance of Red in Chinese culture but was unaware of the rest. I was raised a blue person (my sister was born first and got pink) and still am although black plays a close second. My least favorite color to wear is yellow but I love gold ingots 😀.


  20. As a child, and up to my 20s, my favourite colour was yellow, Mabel. Then, it changed to blue. It’s still blue and I tend to buy clothes that are different shades of blue. I get surprised when I sometimes try on a different coloured shirt and see how nice it is. Then, I stick it in the wardrobe where it spends the rest of its life!
    For me, blue symbolises, cool, fresh days. These are my favourite kind of days.


  21. This is great Mabel ~ I learned the meaning of the color red early on in my China experience, but had a good laugh during my lunar year birthday that I should wear red underwear for the year because it was auspicious. I remember laughing about this…but then going out and buying a year’s worth of red underwear 🙂 Never argue with history and thoughts thousands of years old.


    • I hope the red underwear brought you some luck…and maybe it still does now too. And I’m pretty sure you look good in it 🙂 True. Never argue with history and it’s lessons that stand the test of time. The world works in the strangest of ways…and sometimes we just need to go along with it 🙂


      • Ha, ha ~ yes, every time I put on a pair I smile at the reason I bought them 🙂 There is something to be said about tradition & stories of the past, even if I do not understand them, they hold something of value and like you say, just go along with an open mind as the world does work in mysterious ways 😉


  22. Thank you for sharing such an interesting post, here in Singapore there are many Chinese temples and I love to contemplate the colors that they use, especially the red lacquered wood. Regards, Angela.


  23. Very interesting read, thanks, Mabel.

    The culural connotations around black are quite fascinating. I also used to wear a lot of black as a teenager. One of my aunts used to have a lot to say about that. 🤣


  24. *GASP!!!* When’s your birthday? I’m a Taurean as well, and my fave color is a specific shade of blue-green–Teal.

    Anyway, very informative article! I am aware of what some colors mean to the Chinese, but I learned more information from here.

    The colors of our flag mean a lot, specifically blue and red. We never put the red on top except when we’re at war. Meanwhile, while I don’t always wear it, I kinda think red is what looks best on me. But in the Philippines, you don’t wear red during a wake or a funeral. Has to do with superstition. Mostly, you just follow so as not to offend anyone. Black used to be the color of choice for mourning. In the last decade or so, I have seen the change of preference to white.


    • My birthday is in May. So we are both Taurean 🙂 Blue and green are my favourite shades of colour.

      So true red can be considered the colour of war in some cultures, and for that reason it can also offend or stir up emotions. White is not something I like to wear. Of the white clothes I’ve had, I find they get stained easily all over and go to the trash sooner rather than later 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mine is on May 11. I forgot when Lani’s is.

        Red on our flag symbolizes patriotism and valor, actually, which is, I guess, best shown in times of war. It was on top during World War 2 (I suspect even World War 1).

        I kinda like white but I often stay away from it for the same reason you mentioned. I dream of wearing white slacks/pants, but I know that wouldn’t be a good idea. I know myself. I KNOW it’ll get stained no matter how I try to be careful.


  25. This is beautiful outline of how we use colours and why. I have pinned it to my creative Pinterest boards for easy reference. Thank you for this resource and insight into how colours connect with our senses.

    In the Chinatown of London I often see the red and yellow celebration banners and so now I understand the significance.

    Thank you Mabel. Sending you blue skies!


    • You are so kind for pinning this to your creative Pinterest board, Lita. Many Chinatowns around the world are adorned with read and yellow, and lovely to hear that is how London’s one is too – symbolic of the spirit and values of Chinese culture. Wishing you well!


  26. As a child, I too was dressed in red and white, I still like both colors. I absolutely love blue, white, any shade of grey. I haven’t quite figured out my attraction to neutrals, earthy colors mostly.


  27. Pingback: The Hidden Meaning of Color in China - Real News

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  29. Pingback: El oculto significado de los colores en China –

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