Since prehistoric times, the colour white carries certain meanings. In ancient Egypt, white was associated with death and crop failure, while in European culture, it is considered a symbol of purity and innocence. Let’s find out what the symbolism of white is in different cultures.
In Western culture, white is primarily associated with purity. That is why, in the Catholic religion, the children who are brought to baptism are dressed in white. Also, the children who make their first holy communion are dressed in white. The bride’s white dress symbolizes purity and innocence. The works of painters and writers make us identify white with angels and holy beings. Consequently, white is associated with good.
White is also a symbol of new life and beginning. The new chapter in life should not be burdened with the events of the past, so it is compared to a clean, white sheet of paper that has not been written yet.
White in other cultures
White does not have the same symbolism everywhere. In most Asian countries, white is associated with death and worn as a sign of mourning. In Hindu culture, white symbolizes, among other things, isolation from the rest of society. For example, widows wear white clothes. In Buddhism, white symbolizes knowledge and science.
White is particularly associated with the medical and pharmaceutical industry and healthcare. Healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, wear white gowns. Many companies use white as their main colour, such as Sony or Apple. Why are they so eager to use it? Because white evokes positive emotions, it is elegant and simple. In the case of many logos from global brands, white is also used to highlight other colours.
As white has the greatest ability to reflect sunlight of all colours, it is commonly used in hot climates. White cars parked in the sun heat up more slowly. The white flag is an internationally recognized symbol for a ceasefire or surrender. The image of a white dove with an olive branch in its beak has been considered a symbol of peace and reconciliation since antiquity.