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The meaning of colors are often imbued with great symbolic power. Even in the modern English-speaking world, where superstitious beliefs have largely faded in the light of scientific knowledge, many colors have retained their ancient associations.

Most people know that brides often wear white, that “seeing red” means being angry, and that one can feel “green with envy.” But learning why these connotations exist requires a look back to the beliefs and practices of the ancients.

Red

Red hearts

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Red has a range of symbolic meanings through many different cultures, including life, health, vigor, war, courage, anger, love and religious fervor. The common thread is that all these require passion.

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