Visual Color Symbolism Chart by Culture

What different colors mean in different cultures

Color is an important part of any design, but if you make a poorly informed choice in colors, your design can say something different than you intend it to. At best, it will miss its mark; at worst, it can offend.

How colors are perceived depends a lot on a person's culture. The chart below can help give you a better sense of how the colors you choose are perceived by viewers in various cultures. In some cases, a given color is also associated with another “thing.” For example, a “white dove” in western cultures symbolizes peace. Likewise, a color combination creates the association, such as red and green symbolizing Christmas in the West. This information is noted below.

Color Cultures and Meanings


Australian Aboriginals: Land, Earth

Celtic: Death, afterlife

China: Good luck, celebration, summoning

Cherokees: Success, triumph, the East

Hebrew: Sacrifice, sin

India: Purity

South Africa: 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; with yellow, gaiety, joviality

Stained glass (Dante): Divine love, the Holy Spirit, courage, self-sacrifice, martyrdom


Korea: Trust
Eastern: Marriage
Western: Love, babies, (especially female), Valentine’s Day
Feng Shui: Yin, love
Psychology: Used as appetite suppressant and muscle relaxant; soothing
Roses: Gratitude and appreciation (deep pink) or admiration and sympathy (light pink)


Ireland: Religious (Protestants)
Netherlands: House of Orange
Western: with black, Halloween; creativity, autumn
Astrology: Sagittarius
Feng Shui: Yang, Earth, conversation, purpose, organization
Psychology: Energy, appetite stimulant
Roses: Enthusiasm, desire


Eastern: Wealth, strength
Western: Wealth
Astrology: Leo
Feng Shui: Yang, metal, God consciousness
Stained glass (Dante): The sun, the goodness of God, treasure in heaven, spiritual achievement, the good life


Apache: East, where the sun rises
Cherokee: Trouble, 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, sunbeams, warmth, motion
Psychology: Energizes, relieves depression, improves memory, stimulates appetite
Roses: Sociability, friendship, joy, gladness; with yellow, gaiety, joviality
Stained glass (Dante): The sun, the goodness of God, treasure in heaven, spiritual achievement, the good life


Apache: South
China: Exorcism; green hats imply a man’s wife is cheating on him
India: Islam
Ireland: Patriotism, Catholicism
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, happiness, gaiety, springtime, youth, good humor, and fun; victory over ignorance


Cherokees: Defeat, trouble, the North
China: Immortality
Iran: Heaven, 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, light of heaven, meditation, enduring loyalty, and eternity.

Powder/Baby Blue

Western: babies, especially males
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, mystery; With white, humility and purity


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


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


Apache: West, where the sun sets
Australian Aboriginals: Color of the people
Cherokee: Problems, death, the West
China: Young boys
Navajo: Dibé Nitsaa—obsidian mountain
Thailand: Bad luck, unhappiness, evil
Eastern: Career, evil, knowledge, mourning, penance
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: The land
Cherokee: Good
Western: Wholesome, earthy, dependable, steadfast, health
Astrology: Capricorn, Scorpio
Feng Shui: Yang, Earth, industry, groundedness
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Your Citation
Girard, Jeremy. "Visual Color Symbolism Chart by Culture." ThoughtCo, Jun. 9, 2022, Girard, Jeremy. (2022, June 9). Visual Color Symbolism Chart by Culture. Retrieved from Girard, Jeremy. "Visual Color Symbolism Chart by Culture." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 25, 2023).