What do different coloured saris symbolise? 

Colour symbolism has a long history in India. Whilst many of the ancient colour traditions may have faded, the importance of the colours and the basic concepts are still intact in the significance of colours. Much of the colour symbolism in Indian sarees has been developed in relation to the rich tradition of colour in Hinduism.

The colour of a saree can also be an indication of the day of the week, with a significant importance attached to numerology and astrology. Tuesdays are associated with wearing red colored sarees, green for Wednesday, yellow for Thursday, black for Saturday.  

Here we look at what each colour symbolises and its importance in Indian culture. 

Red: The colour of female empowerment and matrimony.

Red is seen to be the colour of celebration and love, this is why it is often connected with weddings. Red Saris are most commonly worn by brides as part of the wedding ceremony. Red is also a symbol of passion, sensuality and dominance. It is believed,  in Hindu mythology, that red is the favorite colour of Devi Shakti – this again is a symbol of female empowerment.

Red is also associated with the goddess Durga. Also known as Adi Parashakti, who is the goddess of war and who combats evil demons who threaten peace and prosperity. 

Yellow and Orange:  Yellow and Orange sarees represent spiritualism, optimism and knowledge. 

Yellow and orange are popular sarees colours in India. The colour yellow is traditionally associated with religion.  The colours of saffron yellow and vibrant and burnt orange are a symbol of spiritualism in India.  Traditionally, on the first day of Hindu wedding ceremonies, particularly in eastern regions, the new bride is washed in turmeric. This ritual takes place in order to purify the bride before the wedding ceremony. During and after the practice, the bride will wear a yellow saree, in accordance with the tradition. 

Yellow is the color of knowledge and learning. It symbolises happiness, peace, meditation, competence and mental development. It is the color of spring and activates the mind. Lord Vishnu’s dress is yellow symbolising knowledge. 

Blue: Blue embodies strength and bravery. 

Blue has symbolized bravery, determination, a stable mind and a depth of charitable character. It is also associated with Lord Krishna, one of the main Hindu Gods

Green: The colour of life and nature. 

In Maharashtra, the colour green represents happiness and life. Green symbolises peace and the tranquil stability of the mind. The calm and soothing qualities of the colour green inspire harmony and trust. A green colour saree depicts prosperity and love for the natural outdoors and surrounding environment. 

Pink: Femininity and romance. 

Pink is a colour of femininity and life. Pink is associated with romance and happiness. 

White: Purity and peace

The colour white is associated with purity, simplicity and peace. White represents cleansing and new beginnings.  White is also an important colour in Hindu culture. The goddess of knowledge, Saraswati is always depicted wearing a white dress, sitting on a white lotus. Hindu religious leaders also cover themselves with white ashes, representing their spiritual rebirth.

Back to blog