Decorating winter holidays with color
Photo courtesy of TORANGE.US
by TIFFANY LIU
Celebrating holidays, such as those of winter, often requires the use of color to represent emotions, convey special messages and encourage festivities.
Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is the Jewish celebration that commemorates the dedication of the temple by Jews during the Maccabean Revolt against their oppressors, according to history.com. Also called the “Festival of Lights,” it is celebrated on the 25th day of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar. Its traditional colors are blue and white, with blue representing Jewish prayer shawls and white symbolizing peace.
“I think that color helps us describe certain emotions, like when someone wears black it usually represents sadness. Whenever I see vibrant winter decorations at the mall, it makes me feel festive, happy and delightful” said Melanie Maldonado, sophomore.
In ancient times, Germanic pagans and Wiccans celebrated Yule, the winter solstice, for 12 days in December with feasts and gifts, according to wicca.com. With Christian influence, it reformed into Christmas, which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec. 25. Green, red, and gold are colors that people mostly associate with these holidays, but white and blue are also used to represent them. Green symbolizes good luck, red signifies the blood of Jesus, gold means sunshine, white shows purity and blue is the color of heaven, according to whychristmas.com.
“I passed by this one house that was full of colorful Christmas decrorations and it seemed to radiate happiness,” said Maldonado.
Created less than a century ago, Kwanzaa is an African-American festival that honors ethical values and harvests and is celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, according to officialkwanzaawebsite.com. There are seven days of celebration, with one principle recognized per day and a symbol for each called zawadi, or gifts. Red expresses the blood that Africans shed fighting for freedom, green signifies hope for the future and black represents their skin color.
With many different ways of celebrating, New Years’ Day is observed Jan. 1 around the world, according to wilstar.com. People in Spain celebrate by eating 12 grapes, one for every stroke at midnight, while the French feast and make toasts. Silver, exemplifying elegance, and blue, symbolizing peace, are the main colors associated with the new year, according to info.please.com.
Playing a large part in winter cards, outfits, and decorations of festivities, color makes images seem more vibrant and can convey a multitude of messages.