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COLOR AND RELIGION The views of color and how each color is perceived is different when it pertains to a certain

religion. Nations fly flags with certain colors; people wear certain colors, in order to depict and portray a certain religious affiliation. Colors are an essential part of religion, each individual persons perception on color can be derived from the religious association of that person. Through the exploration of the color association of each of the major religions, you find that there are more correlations, than differences, overall. The overlaying themes in Christianity seem to be divisive of the color used to correlate a certain happening in the bible. The color black coincides with evil and darkness, the overlaying theme in the book of revelations. Black is also associated with the harsh tones of sin and judgment. The color red symbolizes war and bloodshed, also the color that is associated with Satan. Christmas, the birth of Jesus, is often correlated with the colors, green, red, white and gold. These colors have been associated with a festive motif. They correlate feelings of something glorious and grand. Blue symbolizes the heavens and the divine, which seems to be a reoccurring theme when it comes to blue and certain religions. Green is the color of the trinity which symbolizes the triumph of life over death. Purple is the color that associates itself with mourning and grief. Its also the color of advent and lent. Yellow, unlike white, does not represent purity, but rather the corruption of purity or the degradation of purity. Each color seems to represent a certain event in the bible. The association with each color parallels each even, and the use of color as symbolism seems to be the main theme when assessing color use in the religion of Christianity. Buddhist culture also relates certain colors to certain aspects of their religion. Black also has the same symbolism in Buddhist culture, representing darkness and hate.

Black in Buddhism is also refers to something that is other-worldly or not from this world. They are often depicted as black figures with gold outlines. The color blue in associated with tranquility and peacefulness. Blue is subjectively the most important color in Buddhism because it correlates with almost every teaching in Buddhism, and the overall teaching of finding inner peace. The reason a Buddhist monk will wear yellow is to symbolize humility. The color was traditionally worn by prisoners, but used in this symbolism as a sort of mechanism to keep the monks grounded in nature, and true to their own beliefs. Color is arguably the most important overall mechanism in Buddhism because the overall meaning and understanding the meaning of those colors can lead a Buddhist to nirvana. The understanding of the colors is called The rainbow body. The association that Buddhist use with color, generally, seems to be the observance of what the color actually represents in their teachings. They perceive each of these colors a certain way, as just the color, with no outside influences or vessels for which the color is displayed. When a Buddhist understands this, they can then achieve a higher state of being. Taosim has a significance to many Chinese people, and the color of the Chinese flag, red, is the symbolic color of the Chinese people and a crucial color in Taoism. Its interesting to see how the colors of Taoism are still prevalent in Chinese nationalism today. The other important color is yellow, which symbolizes nobility and beauty, which is why the Chinese call themselves the yellow people. Green signifies the color of health and the color of harmony. Red, Green and Yellow are the three most important colors in Taoism and Taoists believe that these three colors make up the entire universe.

Like the color blue in Buddhism, the color green in Islam seems to be the most important and holy. Many Islamic countries have used the color green in their flags which correlates to this meaning. Green was said to be the prophet Mohammeds favorite color. Mohammeds tribe would fly a green flag to symbolize a paradise in a desert. The green is displayed proudly in countries flags as a symbol of life. The countries of the middle east are in dry desert areas, so flying a green flag symbolizes something that is not unlike an oasis in a desert. The crescent moon is also a very important symbol in Islamic nationalism. The color red on this crescent pays homage to the alienation of Muslim soldier. Many Muslim mosques don the color blue on its domes as a symbol of protectiveness. These glorious blue mosques date back centuries and were also used as capitals for massive empires, such as the ottoman empire. The Kabba, a large black stone located in a mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is said to come from another world. The color black in Islam seems to correlate with other religions as something that is not of an earthly nature, or even alien. The colors represented in Islam correlate more to the architecture and actual objects that are places of worship or are worshipped as just an object. A certain color depicted today is more of an expression of a Muslim nation, such as the use of green in flags. Color association in Hinduism relates to parts of the body. Indigo is associated with the third eye, which is a revered sense in Hinduism. The parts of the body associated with the third eye are the eyes and the lower head. Blue is associated with the lungs and throat. This correlates with the ability to express words and express truth. Yellow relates to positive personality and the ability of the body to be both perceptive

and aware. The color yellow relates to the organ of solar plexus. Green relates to the soul and heart connection and the body being aware of that. Of course this color correlates with the heart of the human body. Red correlates to the backbone of the body and the overall supportive structure. The color correlates to the personal traits self-confidence, vitality and strong will. Orange relates to the sexual organs, which endorses enthusiasm, energy and sport. In spring, the Hindus celebrate a festival of colors, called Holi. This festival signifies Prahladas faith in Vishnu, when Prahlada was burned with an immortal demon Holika, the demon died and Prahlada was saved due to the faith in Vishnu. The burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi. The main custom of Holi is to throw colored powdered at one another. The spectacle is so popular, it is celebrated around the world, Hindus and non-Hindus alike. Hindus seem to have a deep affinity with associating colors with major gods. Certain gods, like the blue Krishna, are depicted in certain colors in order to give the perception that these beings had a higher divinity than normal beings. Sikhism has a large significance in the color gold, which all of the Sikh temples are colored. They use this color to signify the glory of god, or the wealth of god, and the housing of something holy. The traditional colors are saffron, orange and blue, which are used, in the Sikh flag. Sikh men, who wear turbans, often correlate their color turban to black or the colors of the Sikh flag. Blue, like many other religions, has deep meaning in Judaism. Because blue correlates to both the sea and sky it holds a place as something divine in Judaism. The Torah instructs the Israelites to wear a blue fringe on their garments signifying something in the grace of god. The Torah also says that blue is Gods color. Red symbolizes blood

and life, but also sin, which is in perfect correlation to the Christian theme of red. In contrast to red, the color purple indicates the purification of sin. White symbolizes the light of God, as well as salt, which also correlates to white. Precious metals like Gold and Silver have special significance which indicates the glory of God and a celestial divine. Colors are also associated with certain people mentioned in the Torah. White is associated with the angel Michael and also the metal silver. Michael is also often represented with the presence of snow. Red is associated with Isaac. Gabriel is associated with yellow which correlates his association with the metal gold. The association of Gabriel to these colors gives him an affinity to fire. Uriel is associated with copper. The color white also represents Abraham. The color association seems to stem with the story each angel had in the Torah and how they interacted with the earth. Exploring how each religion correlates each color really allows someone to see the similarities between the religions and how their differences seem to fade away as you explore more and more about each religion. Whether each religion objectifies a color, or views the color purely in a vacuum, the correlation of how each color is used is alarmingly similar. This view allows one to see that the differences in each story that a religion teaches are not all too different. The thoughts relay to your mind about how if there are these vast amount of connecting parallels with something as arbitrary as color in each religion, then the story and accounts associated with those colors must be an actual description or depiction of something that actually occurred. The line between interpretation and perception of certain events by each religion is blurred, suddenly. Though my exploration was not very specific, through the overwhelming amount of

details I was still able to see how coincidental, yet different the use of color was in each of the major world religions. Concluding, the overall parallels and correlations trump the differences when it comes to color use across major religions. My finding wasnt intended to be blasphemous in any nature, but to show that the teachings, correlations and associations in each religion are not inherently different, after all.