Red color in China, why is it so important? When is it used?

Red is very important to Chinese culture. There are many and very different elements that are dyed of this color, especially when it comes to special occasions to celebrate with loved ones. Do you want to know why red is so important in China? Then let’s look at all the details about its origin and the most popular expressions associated with this tone. Let’s start!

The red color in China, part of its culture and tradition

Red color has been part of Chinese culture for a long time. It symbolizes good luck, joy, progress, beauty and good omens. Even many of the Chinese adjectives that bear the red character (红, hóng) have a positive meaning. And not only that, but also, according to the culture of this millennial country, it is also used to scare away evil spirits. But before we get into the uses of red color in China, let’s see its origin.

What is the origin of the use of red color in China?

The character ‘红 Hóng’, red, appeared in the East Zhou dynasty. At that time, this was the tone with which silk was dyed. It was with the arrival of the Tang dynasty, that the meaning of this color was expanded. From that moment it became part of the symbols of good luck and good omens.

As for the use of this color to celebrate important events such as the Chinese New Year, it goes back to the legend that centuries ago there was a terrifying monster called Nian. Every New Year’s Eve, Nian decided to destroy everything in his path. This ended when one day they realized that the monster was terrified of red. Since then everyone has put something red on their doorstep.

When is red color used in China?

In addition to welcoming the Chinese New Year, the red color is used to…

  • Attract good luck at designated events such as weddings, baptisms and other family celebrations.
  • Good fortune when you open a new business.
  • It is worn in clothing to show off in a good mood. In turn, it has been worn in several dynasties in dresses and uniforms to indicate high category.
  • Red beans are used to express longing, especially between two people who love each other.
  • Red decorative elements are also placed in the houses, inside and outside. It is believed that this attracts prosperity, growth and happiness to all the people who inhabit it.


 Expressions related to red, which are the most popular?

The use of red is so widespread in China and part of Asia that it even comes to include in certain expressions, for example:

  • If someone tells you that you have a red face or red ears, you have been embarrassed by something. But a shame for a good reason such as a praise or a congratulations at work.
  • On the other hand, ‘red countenance’ and ‘with the aroma of red sleeve’ refer to the beauty of people, especially young women.
  • And the last one, which is very curious. To wish two people who have just married a long life, in their translation, the phrase goes as follows: ‘to tie the feet of two people with the same red rope’.

At IBMH we have been working in China for over twenty years. We know very well their culture and the way they do business. If you don’t want to leave anything to chance with your China hardware imports, contact us and with our experience we will help you improve the profitability of your hardware business.