History: Colors & Meaning

How Colors Got Their Symbolic Meanings

By Natalie Wolchover, Life’s Little Mysteries Staff Writer
27 September 2011 3:12 AM ET
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Colors are imbued with great symbolic power. Even in the modern English-speaking world, wheresuperstitious beliefs have largely faded in the light of scientific knowledge, many colors have retained their ancient associations. Most people know that brides should wear white, that “seeing red” means being angry, and that one can feel “green with envy.” But learning why these connotations exist requires a look back to the beliefs and practices of the ancients

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