Visual Color Symbolism Chart by Culture

What Different Colors Mean in Different Cultures

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Color is an important part of any design, but if you make a bad choice of colors your design can say something different than you intend it to. How colors are perceived depends a lot on the culture a person was born into. With the chart below, you can get a better sense of how the colors you choose affect your customers in various cultures.

This chart lists colors and meanings that various different cultures associate with those colors.

Note that in some cases, the color is also associated with another “thing”. For example, a “white dove” in western cultures symbolizes peace. Also, sometimes it’s the color in combination with another color that creates the association, such as red and green symbolizing Christmas in the West. This information is noted below.

  • Red
  • Pink
  • Orange
  • Gold
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Baby Blue
  • Purple
  • Violet
  • White
  • Black
  • Gray
  • Silver
  • Brown

Return to Color Symbolism Information

ColorCultures and Meanings


  • Australian Aboriginals: Land, earth
  • Celtic: Death, afterlife
  • China: Good luck, celebration, summoning
  • Cherokees: Success, triumph. Represents the East.
  • Hebrew: Sacrifice, sin
  • India: Purity
  • South Africa: Color of mourning
  • Russia: Bolsheviks and Communism
  • Eastern: Worn by brides, happiness and prosperity
  • Western: Excitement, danger, love, passion, stop, Christmas (with green), Valentine’s Day
  • Astrology: Gemini
  • Feng Shui: Yang, fire, good luck, money, respect, recognition, vitality
  • Psychology: Stimulates brain wave activity, increases heart rate, increases blood pressure
  • Roses: Love, respect — red and yellow together means gaiety, joviality
  • Stained Glass (Dante): Divine love, the Holy Spirit, courage, self-sacrifice, martyrdom. A warm, active color.

Red Color Palettes

Original article by Jennifer Krynin, edited by Jeremy Girard


  • Korea: Trust
  • Eastern: Marriage
  • Western: Love, babies, especially female babies, Valentine’s Day
  • Feng Shui: Yin, love
  • Psychology: Used in diet therapy as an appetite suppressant, relaxes muscles, soothing
  • Roses: Gratitude and appreciation (deep pink) or admiration and sympathy (light pink)


  • Ireland: Religious (Protestants)
  • Netherlands: House of Orange
  • Western: Halloween (with black), creativity, autumn
  • Astrology: Sagittarius
  • Feng Shui: Yang, earth, strengthens conversation, purpose, organization
  • Psychology: Energizes, stimulates appetite
  • Roses: Enthusiasm, desire


  • Eastern: Wealth, strength
  • Western: Wealth
  • Astrology: Leo (Golden Yellow/Orange)
  • Feng Shui: Yang, metal, God consciousness
  • Stained Glass (Dante): The sun, the goodness of God, treasure in heaven, spiritual achievement, and the good life.


  • Apache: East — where the sun rises
  • Cherokee: Trouble and strife.
  • China: Nourishing, royalty
  • Egypt: Mourning
  • India: Merchants
  • Japan: Courage
  • Navajo: Doko’oosliid — Abalone Shell Mountain
  • Eastern: Proof against evil, for the dead, sacred, imperial
  • Western: Hope, hazards, coward, weakness, taxis
  • Astrology: Taurus
  • Feng Shui: Yang, earth, auspicious, sun beams, warmth, motion
  • Psychology: Energizes, relieves depression, improves memory, stimulates appetite
  • Roses: Sociability, friendship, joy, gladness — red and yellow together means gaiety, joviality
  • Stained Glass (Dante): The sun, the goodness of God, treasure in heaven, spiritual achievement, and the good life.


  • Apache: South
  • China: Green hats imply a man’s wife is cheating on him, exorcism
  • India: Islam
  • Ireland: Symbol of the entire country, religious (Catholics)
  • Islam: Perfect faith
  • Japan: Life
  • Eastern: Eternity, family, health, prosperity, peace
  • Western: Spring, new birth, go, money, Saint Patrick’s Day, Christmas (with red)
  • Astrology: Cancer (bright green)
  • Feng Shui: Yin, wood, growing energy, nurturing, balancing, healing, health, calming
  • Psychology: Soothing, relaxing mentally and physically, helps with depression, anxiety and nervousness
  • Stained Glass (Dante): Hope, victory over ignorance, happiness and gaiety, springtime, youth, good humor, and fun.

Green Color Palettes


  • Cherokees: Defeat, trouble. Represents the North.
  • China: Immortality
  • Iran: Color of heaven and spirituality, mourning
  • Navajo: Tsoodzil — Turquoise Mountain
  • Eastern: Wealth, self-cultivation
  • Western: Depression, sadness, conservative, corporate, "something blue" bridal tradition
  • Astrology: Capricorn and Aquarius (dark blue)
  • Feng Shui: Yin, water, calm, love, healing, relaxing, peace, trust, adventure, exploration
  • Psychology: Calming, lowers blood pressure, decreases respiration
  • Stained Glass (Dante): Wisdom of God, the light of heaven, meditation, enduring loyalty, and eternity.

Blue Color Palettes

Powder Blue or Baby Blue

  • Western: babies, especially male babies
  • Astrology: Virgo


  • Thailand: Mourning, widows
  • Eastern: Wealth
  • Western: Royalty
  • Astrology: Gemini, Sagittarius, and Pisces
  • Feng Shui: Yin, spiritual awareness, physical and mental healing
  • Stained Glass (Dante): Justice, royalty, suffering and mystery. With white it stands for humility and purity.


  • Astrology: Virgo and Libra
  • Psychology: Suppresses appetite, peaceful environment, good for migraines


  • Apache: North — source of snow.
  • Cherokee: Peace and happiness. Represents the South.
  • China: Death, mourning
  • India: unhappiness
  • Japan: White carnation symbolizes death
  • Navajo: Tsisnaasjini’ — Dawn or White Shell Mountain
  • Eastern: Funerals, helpful people, children, marriage, mourning, peace, travel
  • Western: Brides, angels, good guys, hospitals, doctors, peace (white dove)
  • Astrology: Aries and Pisces
  • Feng Shui: Yang, metal, death, mourning, spirits, ghosts, poise, confidence
  • Roses: Reverence, humility
  • Stained Glass (Dante): Serenity, peace, purity, joy, faith, and innocence.


  • Apache: West — where the sun sets
  • Australian Aboriginals: Color of the people
  • Cherokee: Problems and death. Represents the West.
  • China: Color for young boys
  • Navajo: Dibé Nitsaa — Obsidian Mountain
  • Thailand: Bad luck, unhappiness, evil
  • Eastern: Career, evil, knowledge, mourning, pennance
  • Western: Funerals, death, Halloween (with orange), bad guys, rebellion
  • Feng Shui: Yin, water, money, income, career success, emotional protection, power, stability, bruises, evil
  • Psychology: self-confidence, strength, power


  • Eastern: Helpers, travel
  • Western: Boring, dull, plain, sad
  • Feng Shui: Yin, metal, dead, dull, indefinite


  • Western: stylish, money
  • Feng Shui: Yin, metal, trust, romance


  • Australian Aboriginals: Color of the land
  • Cherokee: Good.
  • Western: Wholesome, earthy, dependable, steadfast, health
  • Astrology: Capricorn and Scorpio (reddish brown)
  • Feng Shui: Yang, earth, industry, grounded