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Red: The Colour of New Beginnings

Red: The Colour of New Beginnings
As the weather has yet to warm up, it is time to bring some heat with an article focused on red.

There are three reasons, for focusing on all things red this month. Firstly, March is the month of Holi, the festival of colour! Secondly, in Hindu, red represents the start of new things and Spring has officially started, even if it doesn’t feel like it! thirdly, Viva Magenta was named the Pantone colour
of 2023. It is a vibrant shade that has already been widely adopted in fashions and furnishings.

Pantone describes Viva Magenta as:
“A shade rooted in nature descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength.  Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.”

I love this description because it ties in with the Indian relationship with the colour red. In Hindu culture, red is about new beginnings, strength, bravery, protection and life. Let me tell you more.

The Festival of Colour
Holi is a Hindu celebration marking the arrival of spring and representing the power of good over evil. On 8 March, everyone who leaves their home can expect to return covered in coloured powder, gulaal and soaked through to the skin! The celebration of colour is about fun and joy; it is a time to
come together and feast. The ceremony also includes the lighting of Holika Dahan, a bonfire on which an effigy of Holika is burnt.

During Holi, water and powder in every colour are thrown and squirted, but this isn’t the only association between colour and ritual celebrations. Colour is tied into every important occasion, so let’s explore red.

Is Red Important in Hindu Culture
Red is a symbolic and sacred colour in India and the Hindu faith, therefore, it features in many rituals and celebrations. Red is the colour of blood; the very basis of life and it is closely tied with the goddess Durga, a figure representing feminine power. It is a colour with positive connotations, representation of the rising sun and it marks the start of new beginnings.

Indian Brides Adorned in Red
Most notably, it is tradition for a Hindu bride to be adorned in red on her wedding day. Following the marriage, she will leave her family home to join her husband in his. It is a new start for her and she needs a degree of bravery to adapt to the change in her role, from daughter to wife.

Red also represents love, protection and prosperity, so adorning a bride with a red bindi and red bangles are ways to invite health and wealth into the couple’s life. Finally, there is no denying that red is an eye-catching colour, which enhances the natural complexion of Indian brides. It ensures they take centre stage, looking radiant at their wedding.

Bringing Red into Home Interiors
Viva Magenta is a bold and dynamic tone. It takes courage to introduce it into your wardrobe or home, but it can be empowering and uplifting. If you want to embrace this colour of the year, I suggest using it as a series of connecting features, rather than as the main colour in a room.

You might achieve a rich, on-trend interior design by adding soft furnishings such as this black velvet cushion. This would work well in a cosy snug, with deeper tones and red and gold adding colour and shine. Complete the look with a patterned red rug and red sandstone oil burner to provide colour and aroma in such a space.

In a lighter room, a Safi embroidered cushion or red flower door knobs could offer ways to bring red detailing into a neutral interior.  The kitchen can be a great space for adding a touch of colour, with tea towels, tea caddies and even a set of Moroccan tea glasses. You could even brew our bespoke blend of Strawberry Red Bush Tea in a red teapot then pour it into red mugs!

Uplifting Colour
Whether you are joining a Holi event or looking at ways to bring the colour of the year into your home, I hope that the rich and vibrant tones will lift your spirits, as they do mine.