The festive months bring with them myriad colours. Artist and Colour Therapist Amisha Mehta explores the significance of colours in the festive seasons…
Colour is a universal language as all organisms under the sun are affected by colour. Plants, bacteria and animals, all show changes in behaviour when exposed to the different colours.
A subconscious language that we use instinctively in every area of our lives.
October/November marks the beginning of autumn/fall worldwide. Whilst for us here in India, it brings in the goddess Durga during Navratri and lights up the darkness in our lives through Diwali.
For many, autumn is their favourite season. As the time progresses, the temperatures begin to cool down. The fallen leaves provide a cosy carpet to walk through. The longer and slanting shadows celebrate a golden hue across the many colours of the season.
So let us begin with a walk through the colourful festivities and the importance of colours that they radiate.
Navratri festivities are filled with vibrant colours that are seen through decorations, clothing and the designs around us. There is a pattern and meaning behind each colour that is used in this festival.
Each year the nine colours chosen for Navratri are green, orange, grey, white, red, royal blue, pink and purple.
The colours remain the same, just the order carries astrologically. Each of the nine days of Navratri belong to the nine avatars of the goddess Durga, symbolising the qualities of the Devi.
This year the Navratri begins with yellow.
Devi Shailaputri, an absolute form of mother nature she symbolises strength. Yellow is a cheerful, bright and an energetic colour.
The second day is colour green. Devi Brahmacharani, the spiritual knowledge seeker. Green symbolises growth, pure nature and a natural healer.
The third day is colour Grey. Devi Chandraghanta. She wears a grey coloured moon on her forehead. Here the grey colour symbolises her mood, always on guard and ready to fight and destroy the enemies of her devotees.
Day four is orange. Devi Khushmanda. She is highly illuminous and powerful. Hence the orange colour symbolises her energy.
The fifth day is white. Devi Skandamata. The mother of Lord Kartikeya, the War God. The Devi holds a baby in her lap symbolising peace and purity as one worships her. The white colour represents pureness.
The sixth day is the colour Red. Devi Katyayani. She is believed to be formed out of the anger of the gods. She is very fearce, hence the colour Red as it symbolises action and vigour.
The seventh day is the colour Royal Blue. Devi Kaalratri. Also known as Kali, the destructive avataar of the goddess. Her powerful energy lies in the colour blue.
The eight day is pink. Devi Mahagauri. A fulfiller of all desires. As the colour pink speaks of hope and unconditional love.
The ninth day is purple. Devi Siddhidatri, a giver of knowledge. She guides you through your aspirations. Purple, a highly intuitive and meditative colour, denotes her quality.
While the various avatars of the Devi are fascinating, so are their symbolic colours.
Soon we enter into Diwali – the festival of lights.
Diwali has its origins in the Hindu mythology and means ‘Rows of Lamps’ in Sanskrit.
The festival is celebrated with sparkling fireworks through the sky, the houses are adorned with lights, lamps, candles and flower garlands. Traditionally the diyas used were earthenware. The earthy red symbolises the mother Earth and your roots with her.
During Diwali, an actual vibgyor of colours is created through the fireworks, lights, rangolis and colourful attires.
Diwali, a highly energetic festival, healing you through your life, represents ‘light over darkness’
Having explored the colour of Navratri and Diwali, we gently move into the carpet of leaves waiting to comfort us and help us evolve.
Change is significant of Autumn. As the temperatures change, the leaves change colour and the days gradually grow shorter.
One can use this time to reassess their attitude towards changes in their life.
‘Just as the leaves die and fall off the trees, they also make way for the new’. So let’s try to use the colours of Autumn/Fall to let go of the old and welcome the new.
Amber, Auburn, Crimson and Carmine, Gamboge or the vivid yellows, Scarlet, Maroon, Cornelian are the colours of the fall
They range from the earthy browns, to the hues of gold and yellow into the rustic oranges with the wilderness of the red. Though we may choose to use other colours as per our energy requirements. It is nature’s way of providing us the most energetic carpet in advance to face the ‘chilling winters’.
Amisha Mehta is a renowned artist and colour therapist and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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