The Meaning of Color Ⅲ
It is said that this meaning of yellow is originated in the US in the 19th century. The term refers to journalism that features sex scandals, sensationalism, or other unethical practices by the news media. The competition between Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, each with his own brightly-colored comic strip, The Yellow kids, sealed their fates together and provided future historians with the convenient title of “yellow journalism”. Anyway, Chinese apprehension of color yellow is both local and western, which shows the intermingling of different cultures.
Red is the favorite color of the Chinese. It is widely used of celebratory occasions such as festivals, birthdays, weddings, business openings, and project completion ceremonies. Red is consistently the dominant color at these events. At traditional wedding, big red characters “double happiness” are prominently displayed. Dressed in red and wearing red flowers, the bride is carried on a red sedan. The groom wears a red silk cloth wrapped over his wedding suit. The bridal chamber is decorated with red candles, and all the bedding is also red. Traditional weddings are even referred to as red happiness.
During the Spring Festival, every household place Spring Festival scrolls and the character “fu” in red on doors and walls. Red lanterns are hung out for display and red firecrackers set off, Children are given gifts of money wrapped in red paper, and New Year bonuses are given to employees in red envelopes. Red eggs are also given to women who have just given birth. Red is symbol of happiness and blessing.
Red has also become a political tag, with common terms such as the red base, the red army, and others coming into being. It has still other connotations, altogether not all of them are positive. If you hear the expression “red-eye syndrome”, it is referring to somebody being in a state of jealousy. This humorous expression has come about due to the explosion of a market economy. People jealous of wealth are said to have jealously red eyes.
Red also attracts some taboos. One should never write a letter in red ink, because this signifies that you in fact wish to break off your friendship with the recipient. Likewise one should never write another person’s name in red ink, or tick or cross their name. It is because historically criminal’s names were ticked in red ink when they were sentenced to be executed.
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