Today, April 23rd, is St. George's Day, the National Day for England. Saint George is the patron saint of England and today is the anniversary of his death in 303 AD. According to legend, St. George was a soldier in the Roman army who killed a dragon and saved a princess. St. George's Day is a feast day in England. The day is also celebrated in many of the world's Christian and Orthodox churches. You can read more about St. George's Day here.
The color red is closely tied to Saint George and his feast day. In England, it is traditional to wear a red rose in one's lapel on Saint George's Day, and to fly a special flag, St. George's Cross, which features a bright red cross on a white field. Even though I am not celebrating St. George's Day with my English friends today, the holiday's association with the color red has given me lots to think about.
Red seems to be a color that divides people. They either love red, gravitating toward red clothing and cars, or they shy away from it, finding it too showy. My feelings about red have warmed (pardon the pun) in recent years. I think it began when I started crocheting in earnest and realized that red could be a nice, welcome addition to blanket color-schemes. I've always had red in my kitchen, with a kitschy strawberry theme.
Red is versatile. Red is a color of attraction: birds and bees, flowers and fruits. Red is a color of moods and personalities: flamboyant, volatile, warm, angry, sanguine, passionate. Red is also a color of warning and emergency: stoplights, stop signs and brake lights, firetrucks and ambulances. Red means boldness, bravery and courage. The Red Cross emblem is an international symbol of compassion and aid. Red has heralded political unrest. Red can be forbidding as well as welcoming, cautionary as well as cheerful.
How does red play into your life? Red is, for me: my first bicycle, painted dark cherry-red with mica sparkles; my high school's maroon home-game jerseys; the scarlet wool coat that I was wearing when I met my first boyfriend; the carved cherry-wood jewelry box my husband gave me before we were married; the auburn hair of the brother-in-law I never had a chance to meet; the strawberry-blond hair of my newborn son. And in between: Fisher-Price's Happy Apple, wild cherry Lifesavers, Etch-A-Sketch, Campbell's tomato soup, Coca-Cola, red-rose prom corsages, a favorite outfit on my baby daughter, a chile ristra near my front door, a blazing Sandia sunset. Red, more than most other colors, runs through my life in a connected thread of memories and moments.
Don't forget to visit the other Color Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts. Just click on the links below:
Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Gillian at Tales from a happy house.
CJ at Above the River
What is The Color Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a color related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about color in new ways.