Travel Theme: Shades of Red

Red is the color of blood and strawberries. It is next to orange at the end of the visible spectrum of light, and is commonly associated with danger, sacrifice, passion, love, anger,socialism and communism, and in China and many other cultures, with happiness.


Depending on where you are in the world, red can represent anything from anger and sin to fortune and fertility. In some countries, like China and India, red is worn at weddings. In central Africa, red symbolizes health and life, whereas in South Africa it’s the color of death and mourning. Red can represent power and status, a good example being the red carpet. Roses and hearts associate red with love and passion, whereas traffic signs and stop signs associate it with danger and warning. And red is also a patriotic color for many countries, such as Britain and the USA, symbolizing blood, sacrifice and courage.

RED in Nature vs. Man-made RED

Red in Christmas

Christian belief – The color red symbolizes Christ’s blood which was shed during his crucifixion.  Historical fact–  In the 14th century, Christmas trees were decorated with red apples.  Red continued into the 20th century as one of the most common colors of Christmas.

Red in Flags

Red often represents courage, revolution, hardiness, blood, and/or valor.

RED in Product

One of the most important roles of color in visual merchandising is attracting attention to a business or product. Bright colors such as red and orange tend to stand out and draw the eye cause intense emotions and evoke feelings of excitement.

RED in Venezuela

Red Flag Party (in SpanishPartido Bandera Roja) is a communist party in Venezuela.

Color Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez red

Out of all the colorful and politically charged campaign slogans that I heard during my coverage of the Venezuelan elections, the one that grabbed me the most was “Roja, rojita,” or “red, reddish.” Women in the poor neighborhood of San Agustin would repeat it, laughing. They would show me their pinkie, stained with indelible ink after voting. They would point to their red caps or blouses and say, “Roja, rojita.”

What I didn’t get is if they were simply repeating catchwords coined by the Chavez campaign, or if, in effect, they were declaring themselves communists by conviction.

After the hammer and sickle, perhaps the most identifiable symbol of communism around the world is the color red. I would swear that Chavez owns at least 20 red shirts. Maybe up to 30 red berets. The presidential car is a red Volkswagen Beetle.

In Venezuela the colour red has been stripped of beauty and power

September 6, 2010 By 

The color red in Venezuela 

The pianist Gabriela Montero has published a statement with her new recording of South American music, delicately explaining her opposition to the Hugo Chávez regime in terms of colour coding. A passionate and courageous performer, Montero regrets her country’s decline under its showboating Castroist president. Here’s her sleeve-note in full:

I make records because I want to share my own and others’ creativity, emotional world and personal souvenirs through sound. I believe everything we do and say is a testament to who we are. A fingerprint. A statement. Usually, the very recognisable EMI logo is red and white. You’ll notice that in this record, the EMI logo is black and white. I’ve chosen to exclude any red in SOLATINO, except for the letter ‘O’, because in Venezuela, the colour red has been stripped of its passionate beauty and power, and is now associated with repression, fury and control. You’ll also notice that the title is coloured by Yellow, Blue and Red. These are the colours of the Venezuelan flag. Red is the last colour on my flag and, coincidentally, ‘O’ is my blood type. I find the symbolism in this quite beautiful. We all share that same source of life: blood. It is the red blood cells that carry oxygen through our bodies. Without them, we perish. With the right balance, we thrive. I’d like this ‘O’ to be coloured by a peaceful shade of red. The red that belongs to all of us. The red that is beautiful in its intensity, and not hurtful in its grip. The red that belongs in this world and not the type that separates and extinguishes us. There is no space for the wrong kind of red, and I choose to remove it from this record. It is my statement.

 Gabriela Montero

Where’s My Backpack travel theme for the week is RED. If you would like to join in this week’s travel theme, create your own post titled Travel Theme: Red and put a link to this page in your post so others can find it. Check back in next Friday for a new weekly travel theme.

22 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Shades of Red

    • Why thanks.. most people find my interpretations.. “interesting” jeje.. in real life.. I think my favorite thing has to work on the themes..I’m having such a problem with internet here that I can’t seem to upload any of my photos.. so hopefully I’ll get the next couple themes caught up.

  1. RED is perceived by the vast majority of cultures around the world as the colour of power. Seconded only to black, it is THE most used colour in marketing. As a commercial artist, there is no way that I could ever ignore these facts. It is because of these facts why I deliberately made my company logo all RED on black. It . . . stands . . . out.

  2. Thanks for the ‘likes’ you give me – helps me keep posting. I like this varied meanings of red, but ended up remembering two friends who are colour-blind. One in particular, a really keen sailor, could not get his masters ticket because convention required ability to distinguish red from green.

  3. This was intense reading; thanks for writing it. The colour caught my interest – it’s my favourite, not only because it suits me, but particularly because my mother wore red frequently until she grew very old, and then she started wearing pale colours. I hope I never get to this. Long live red.
    I’m impressed with all the photos you’ve found to illustrate your points. Well done.

    • Thanks.. I appreciate the detailed feedback. It’s interesting after being in Asia and now in Venezuela how world-wide significant the color red is. It was sort of the teacher in me that came out.. ha… I like the story of your mom.. it would be interesting to hear first hand why she changed to pale colors.. my mom wore bright colors and some outlandish clothes until the day she passed.. Long live outlandish!! Thanks for stopping by.

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