All About the Color RED

All About the Color RED

Red has more personal associations than any other color. Recognized as a stimulant, red is inherently exciting and the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red draws attention and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element.


  • Increases enthusiasm
  • Stimulates energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate
  • Encourages action and confidence
  • Provides a sense of protection from fears and anxiety


The Colors of the Chakras - RedRed is the color for the base or root chakra. This chakra is located at the base of the spine and allows us to be grounded and connect to the universal energies. First chakra, base of the spine. Groundedness, trust, belonging, lessens feelings of mistrust. Gemstones that will aid the Root chakra include lodestone, ruby, garnet, smokey quartz, obsidian, hematite and onyx
{See more about chakra colors}


  • Red represents beauty in many languages and cultures, including Russia.
  • In Chinese culture, colors corresponded with the five primary elements, the directions and the four seasons. Red was associated with fire, south, and summer.
  • In Japan, the color red is associated closely with a few deities in Shinto and Buddhist traditions, so statues of these deities are often decked in red clothing or painted red. Mark Schumacher has a page on his site the goes into depth on the Color Red in Japanese Mythology.
  • In Sweden, Falun red (red based on the pigment from the Falun mine) was reserved for the privileged class.
  • In China, red is associated with good luck and fortune.
  • In Greece, Easter eggs are dyed red and the Greek expression “piase kokkino” (“touch red”) is said when two people say the same thing at the same time. It is believed that such an occurrence is an omen that the two will have an argument in the future, which can only be broken when the two touch the closest thing that is red.
  • In Jamaica, a popular slang term for someone who is under the influence or drunk is “red.”
  • In England, red phone booths and red double decker buses are national icons. Standard British pillar boxes (mail boxes) have been painted red since 1874.
  • In India, a red mark on the forehead is said to bring good luck.
  • To the Hindu, red symbolizes joy, life, energy, and creativity.
  • Islamic, Hindu, and Chinese brides traditionally wear red.
  • Cochineal red, discovered by the Aztecs, was made using the female cochineal beetle. A pound of water-soluble extract required about a million insects. For the Aztecs, Indian red dye was considered more valuable than gold! However, it was the Spaniards who introduced the crimson color of Cochineal red to Europe in the 1500s.
  • In Aztec culture, red was connected with blood.
  • Red amulets were worn in many cultures to prolong life.
  • In Singapore, the color red traditionally symbolizes joy.
  • Chinese New Year is celebrated by wearing red clothing and decorating the house with red. Red envelopes with “luck money” are given to unmarried children to bring good fortune to them for the rest of the year.
  • Red symbolizes feast days of martyrs in the Catholic church.
  • In Israel, kosher clothing stores banned the color red and sell only loose-fitting apparel for women.
  • The belief in the protective power of the color red can be traced back to the old Chinese folklore of the Nian, a man-eating beast of ancient China who used to feed on human flesh. Discovering that the creature abhorred loud noises and the color red, the people made liberal use of the color not only in their firecrackers, but also in home decorations and clothing to protect themselves from the Nian.


  • The color red represents the U.S. Republican Party and beginning with the 2000 presidential election, states that favored the Republican candidates began being referred to as “red states,” while those that favored the Democratic candidates were referred to as “blue states.”
  • Red is the color most associated with the Soviet Union during communist reign.


  • Red is the highest arc of the rainbow.
  • Red is the first color you lose sight of at twilight.
  • The longest wavelength of light is red.
  • In the financial arena, red symbolizes a negative direction.
  • Eric the Red is the Norwegian Viking credited for colonizing Greenland…he earned his nickname from his bright red hair and beard.
  • Feng shui recommends painting the front door of a home red to invite prosperity to the residents.
  • According to “The Language of Stained Glass” at Armstrong Browing Library at Baylor University: When Dante spoke of the Seraphim – the first of the nine choirs of Angels – the color that “glows” was the pure orange vermilion which his fellow citizens and brothers-in-spirit (the painters, illuminators, and glassmen) knew as red. So, it may be said that pure red is the color of divine love, the Holy Spirit, courage, self-sacrifice, martyrdom, and all the warm impulses that belong to the great-hearted everywhere.
  • Bees can’t see the color red, but they can see all other bright colors. Red flowers are usually pollinated by birds, butterflies, bats, and wind, rather than bees.
  • Red is the color that means “severe” in the color-coded threat system established by presidential order in March 2002. This system quickly informs law enforcement agencies when intelligence indicates a change in the terrorist threat facing the United States.


There are several American teams that use red as their primary color.

  • Baseball teams include the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Basketball teams include the Chicago Bulls.
  • Hockey teams include the Detroit Red Wings.
  • Thanks to a reminder from reader D.A. I want to mention the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. Their team motto is “Go Big Red”, their mascot is “Lil Red” and in her words “the stadium full of fans it is known as ‘The sea of red’ as fans always wear red.” Go Huskers!


  • Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Bodacious Woman Mary Foley



  • American Red Cross
  • American Heart Association
  • The red ribbon is an international symbol of AIDS awareness.
  • The Red Ribbon Campaign is a drug prevention program
  • Product Red
  • Leonard Cheshire International
  • Girls, Inc.


  • Red carpet treatment: giving privileged treatment to an important person
  • Caught red-handed: clearly guilty
  • Red in the face: to become embarrassed
  • Seeing red: to be angered
  • Red flag: a warning of danger
  • Not worth a red cent: having no value
  • Red letter day: a memorable, joyful day
  • Red tape: excessive formalities in governmental process
  • In the red: a term to describe an economic loss
  • Scarlet letter: a punitive mark of adultery that originated with the novel (1850) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
    {See our list of popular phrases that include color}


  • “Everyone knows that yellow, orange, and red suggest ideas of joy and plenty. I can paint you the skin of Venus with mud, provided you let me surround it as I will.” — Eugene Delacroix
  • “If one says ‘Red’ – the name of color – and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.” — Josef Albers
  • “Of all the hues, reds have the most potency. If there is one electric blue, a dozen reds are so charged. Use them to punctuate white, burn into bronzes, or dynamite black.” — Jack Lenor Larsen
  • “Painters use red like spice.” — Derek Jarman
  • “Perhaps blue, red, and yellow strike the mind more forcibly from there not being any great union between them, as martial music, which is intended to rouse the nobler passions…” — Sir Joshua Reynolds
    {See entire list of quotes about color}


There is no question that the vehicle you drive is an extension of your personality — an unspoken but clear message to the rest of the world.


  • Black, Red, Yellow by Pearl Jam
  • Blue Red and Grey by The Who
  • Courtesy of The Red, White And Blue by Toby Keith
  • Flaming Red by Patty Griffin
  • I Saw Red by Warrant
  • Lady in Red by Chris Deburgh
  • Little Red Corvette by Prince
  • Red House by Jimi Hendrix
  • Red, Red Wine by UB40
  • (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes by Elvis Costello


  • Red is considered a warm color in landscape design. Its appearance in the garden has an energetic effect.
  • Red flowers and foliage give the illusion of coming forward in the landscape, helping to make a large garden feel cozier.
  • Red plants attract the eye and are a good choice for areas you want to draw attention to.
  • Red’s complimentary color in the garden is green.
  • Write mystery into your garden plots by combining deep reds, such as burgundy, maroon, and russet, with equally dark purple and chocolate brown. Such sultry combinations create the illusion of depth and hidden distances. –Better Homes and Garden


Red fruits are flavorful and nutritious. Although not seen as frequently, there are also red vegetables. A few of my favorite red foods are listed below.

  • The warm scent and flavor of baking apples is a sure sign that fall is just around the corner.
  • The fragrant, sweet juiciness and deep red color of strawberries can brighten up both the taste and aesthetics of any meal; it is no wonder they are the most popular berry fruit in the world.
  • Fresh cranberries, which contain the highest levels of beneficial nutrients, are at their peak from October through December, just in time to add their festive hue, tart, tangy flavor, and numerous health protective effects to your holiday meals.


  • “Red is a color associated with poison, passion and seduction” — Aromascope
  • “Gallica Roses come in crimsons, deep pinks, mauves, and stripes and splashes. They are most often described as having Old Rose fragrances, which can be intense and spicy.” — American Rose Association
  • AromaPod, a scented lifestyle tool, uses the color red with the scent that provides energy.
  • “Cherry” was the original scent of the red colored Magic Scents Crayons from Binney & Smith Inc., introduced in 1994 with mostly food scents. However, there were numerous reports that children were eating the food-scented crayons, so the food scents were retired and replaced with non-food scents. The scent for the color red became “cedar chest.”


Is there something that you know about red that should be included here? Great! We’d love to hear from you. Share what you know about red (or any other color) by clicking here.

All About the Color RED

 Discover More About The Meaning, Symbolism & Psychology Of Colors

All About The Color YELLOW All About the Color GREEN All About the Color BLUE All About the Color PURPLE
All About the Color PINK All About the Color RED All About the Color ORANGE All About the Color BROWN
About the color white All About the Color Gray All About the Color Black


  1. Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your posts.
    Thank you!

  2. Thanks for visiting my website and leaving your comment. I hope you will come back often.

  3. Michelle says

    Great post, helped me with my Art homework. Another song with ‘red’ in the tite is ‘Red’ by the amazing Taylor Swift!

  4. I LOVE the color Red. It makes me feel happy, warm and joyful. This is a great article. Thank you!

  5. Sam Andrews says

    Really helped with art homework,

  6. psychygirl says

    Hello, the article was very informative and helped answer alot of my questions and how I can incorporate the color red into my research paper, thanks…

  7. It was told to me that. The reason I wear a lot of red is because I have a lot of love to give.

  8. It’s said that wearing the color red actually makes you more attractive!

  9. Another song is Red Eye by Andy Grammar. This was very helpful to me for a project, thank you!

  10. Sarwar khan says

    A govvernment servant told me we kept files and books of records in a red cloth hence we prevent our record from pests like creature. Can some one tell me is it true. You may see this in the movies and dramas make in india and pakistan in any scene of govt. office bundels and packes of office record bound in red coloe clothes work as pesticide in india and pakistan. Or may be in other countries of British Commonwealth.

    • Sarwar, I have never heard or read any mention about bugs that I recall. I am also not aware of red as a pest deterrent and have no reason to believe that red would be more effective than any other color.

  11. it is a perfect representation. the logo of our company, SIGMA ELECTRIC PLC.
    A company engaged with energy/power. unless handled with care, it is dangerous, The teams are passionate ,enthusiast and courageous enough,
    Bereket, Marketing Manager

  12. Hallo what is the meaning of the colour Dark Pastel Red.

    • Hello Siku. Dark and Pastel (light) are contradictory terms so I’m not sure exactly what you mean. Please give me a little more information, please.

      • So am I correct in taking away from this that Purple links the Red and Blue Chakra’s so in a sense, The Third Eye individuals have potential for all 3 sets of characteristics?

  13. Red is the vibe that grooves everyone in a party. Jesus Christ died leaving a red blood on the cross. His blood we drank for holy communion in churches is red wine. By Faleye Michael Red

  14. I came across this article looking for red symbolism in dreams… Interpretation is up to the dreamer? This does help when 2 n 2 are put together along with common sence… Thank you

    • Dram interpretation is something I’ve explored just a little bit so I don’t know a great deal about it but I enjoyed knowing that what I said in my article makes sense for what you are discovering about dreams.

  15. Does red have an opposite? Not sure if I mean like the color of the shortest wave length (violet ( I went looking for the answer)) so I mote mean perhaps opposite of joy. Are any of these sensational colors froth with morbid meaning? Just curious, you have me thinking. Thank you for this great great web page.

    Take care

    • I appreciate your nice comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the page. In terms of the color wheel green is reds opposite or complement of red. As for the morbid or negative meaning — sure colors do have meanings that are negative but morbid is more a combination of colors and what an individual associates with them. Someone once told me that they thought of burgundy velvet as morbid because it reminded them of coffin lining where for other people they may think of burgundy velvet as a pretty holiday dress fabric. I have covered the most basic color and their associations but associations of color is a much more complex topic than most people realize. When working with a client on a specific question I am able to go into more depth than when just speaking in general terms that everyone will understand. Best, Kate

  16. I associate red with cinnamon and cinnamon fragrance, the root chakra and also I associate it with well lit fireplaces during winter.

  17. Oh also there’s the planet mars and war.

  18. Hi – I was told by my boss never to use red to get attention in a memo…For him it is like I am screaming at him – insults-
    is that true?