What's Up With Red Anyway? Pt. 2


Let's talk a little bit about why red is such a symbol of Valentine's Day, shall we?


Red roses are associated with deep emotion. Even the number of roses conveys a different meaning! That is why we traditionally give a dozen roses on Valentine's Day.


In many cultures, red is a symbol of love and vitality. No wonder right? Blood is red. Your heart gets pumping when you feel those oh so sweet feelings of love. Makes sense then that brides in a number of countries wear red during wedding ceremonies. Women wearing red lipstick stimulates the male brain to associate fertility with the color.


The advantage of adorning yourself in red is not only for the fairer sex. Men who wear red in the animal kingdom tend to get more attention from the females. A study was shown to reveal that women were more attracted to pictures of men either wearing red or against a red background. Also, high-status men have worn red in certain organizations such as the Catholic church.


So those are a few psychological reasons as to why red is associated with attraction.


The legend of St. Valentine is a little bit slipperier to pin down. One story depicts him as a priest who married young men to their brides in secret because young men getting married was outlawed at the time(the wisdom of the era being that unmarried men make better soldiers). Another story was that he sent the first "Valentine card" from prison to his love. Awww.


How about the color pink?

It is possible that February 14th became St. Valentine's Day as a Christian co-opt of a Roman festival known as Lupercalia. Part of the ritual of the holiday included a blood sacrifice(the red) and a milk cleansing(the white). Combine those together and what do we get? Scholars aren't totally decided as to whether or not this is the true origin of V-Day, but it's fun to speculate. At least it is for me.


Do you have any feelings of your own that you associate with the color red? Is it more a positive or negative color for you?


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