In a nutshell, Koreans consider their lucky color to be GREEN. Green represents youth and energy - and so, you’ll find many businesses in Korea painted green!
Note that this differs from the Chinese, who consider RED to be the color of good fortune. In Korea, though, red symbolizes passion, and thus painting your business red might border slightly on the risqué.
WHITE symbolizes purity (as it does in Western societies - thus the traditional white wedding dress) but in Korea, white also symbolizes patriotism.
And, again (not unlike the West) BLACK symbolizes death (don’t the K-drama Korean gangsters always dress in black?) though the article reports that it’s also fast becoming a trendy color for Korea’s Yuppie set.
Curiously, as I recall, the Japanese completely turn this around, as they consider WHITE to be a death color.
It’s a great article and an easy read (just a few paragraphs). Well worth checking out!
My thanks (yet again) to KoreanWiz for citing this link!
Mikey, I haven't read the article since the JoongAng links don't usually work for me (my computer gets hung up on them), but the mention of green reminds me of something. I was looking up the names of colors in a Korean dictionary recently, and it said that there was historically one word used for what we think of as blue and as green. I guess they didn't make the distinction between the two colors. Now they do, and my understanding is that they use some other, more specific wording to make it clear which color they mean, when necessary.
In Dae Jo Young (Chulin) and Hwang Jini (the troupe except Jini) wore white as funeral attire. I remember wondering about that.
Interesting point, as I seem to remember that, too.
In other instances, though, I remember seeing dramas where the next-of-kin wore what appeared to be rough-looking, almost light tan attire, kind of like robes made out of burlap. And (not intending here to make fun of the situation) they often wore hats that looked a little like grocery store shopping bags.
An interesting tradition - I wonder what it all symbolically means?
I've long noticed the green motif on Korean-American businesses.
There was a time back in the Chosun era that the lower classes were required to wear white clothing, as dyed cloth was reserved for upper-classes. Maybe the funeral wear is connected with that, like showing humility before the deceased (just a guess).
Indians also consider white a color of mourning and black of death. Wearing black to certain functions brings on scorn because it's like you're inviting death to an auspicious occasion. I googled 'mourning colors of cultures' and came across this site that layed out the meanings of certain colors for a few cultures. Although the chart was created for another purpose, I still found it helpful.
Post by soapygrams on Apr 12, 2007 20:46:48 GMT -5
;D Thanks - it was interesting - I found out that orange = Ireland = Protestant; which is the Ulster province; actually it is a part of the NEW  Irish Republic flag; prior to then the flag was green, GOLD and white [1916-1922]; now it's green, Orange and white. What I found humorous was the notations for green: Ireland = THE WHOLE COUNTRY; green in the WEST = St. Patrick's day among others.