Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Green with Envy

The word green is closely related to the Old English verb growan, “to grow”. It is used to describe plants or the ocean. The first recorded use of green as a color name in English was in 700.

In many folklores and literatures, green has traditionally been used to symbolize nature and its embodied attributes, namely those of life, fertility, and rebirth. Green was symbolic of resurrection and immortality in Ancient Egypt; the god Osiris was depicted as green-skinned.

Culturally, green has broad and sometimes contradictory meanings. In some cultures, green symbolizes hope and growth, while in others, it is associated with death, sickness, envy, or the devil.

Green is thought to be an unlucky color in British and British-derived cultures, where green cars, wedding dresses, and theater costumes are all the objects of superstition.

Frogs often appear green because light reflects off of a blue underlayer of chemicals and through a yellow upperlayer, filtering the light to be primarily green.

By far the largest contributor to green in nature is chlorophyll, the chemical by which plants photosynthesize. Many creatures have adapted to their green environments by taking on a green hue themselves as camouflage.

Green is also known to have signified witchcraft, devilry and evil for its association with faeries and spirits of early English folklore. It also had an association with decay and toxicity.

Green has become the symbolic color of environmentalism, chosen for its association with nature, health, and growth.

In Ireland and Scotland especially, green is used to represent Catholics, while orange is used to represent Protestantism.

Green is one of the Christmas colors as well, possibly dating back to pre-Christian times, when evergreens were worshiped for their ability to maintain their color through the winter season. Romans used green holly and evergreen as decorations for their winter solstice celebration called Saturnalia, which eventually evolved into a Christmas celebration.

Green is considered the traditional color of Islam. Muhammad is reliably quoted in a hadith as saying that "water, greenery, and a beautiful face" were three universally good things.

Are you green and growing or ripe and rotting?
Ray Kroc

No comments:

Post a Comment