For the past three weeks, I’ve been traveling in China, mainly Beijing the country’s capital, and it seems that everywhere I look, I see the color red.
Red-painted walls, red-tiled rooftops, and red-and-gold doorways can be seen alongside red lanterns, and tassels accenting homes inside and out.
Red chilies are in the food. The red 100-yuan note (about $14.50) changes hands thousands of times each day. Every dawn and dusk in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the enormous red 5-starred flag is raised and lowered with great ceremony.
And because the rose is the official flower of Beijing, everything is literally coming up red roses around me too!
It’s not surprising though. In traditional Chinese culture, red was affiliated with one of the five elements – fire – and was considered to ward off evil spirits, one of the main reasons it’s painted on doors and exterior walls.
Although in ancient times you had to be well connected to paint the town red. After the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) the color was reserved exclusively for the walls of the Emperor’s relatives along with yellow roof tiles. (Peasants, like you me, would have lived in homes made of blue bricks and tiles.) Today this dynamic color symbolizes good luck, joy, and happiness with an added dose of protection thrown in too, so it’s not surprising that it turns up as the predominant color for holidays and family gatherings throughout the year.
So I’ve been seeing red. A whole lotta red. Everywhere. On everything. And I’ve been capturing it with my cameras daily, and hopefully showering myself with good luck, joy and happiness in everything I do. Who knew that when I selected our red couch, more mysterious forces were at work behind the scenes! I just might have to rethink the color of our front door now too!
Until next time,
Holly ~ Soupatraveler