Colors in Ukrainian

If you want to know more about colors and hues in Ukrainian, and to find out something interesting about color symbolism in Ukraine, this article will be handy for you. Let’s make our day more colorful!

Names of colors

Let’s imagine the situation. You are already in Ukraine and you made an arrangement for a meeting with a new Ukrainian friend. You are in a violet shirt standing near the yellow car. This description will help your friend to find you much faster. Right? Ok, let’s learn how to describe something using colors in Ukrainian language:

  • red will sound like “chervonyi” (pronounce with an emphasis on the second syllable, write in Cyrillic — червоний);
  • orange has two variants: “oranzhevyi” and “pomaranchevyi” (pronounce with emphasizes on the second and third syllables accordingly, spelling are — “оранжевий” and “помаранчевий” accordingly);
  • pinkrozhevyi” (the second stressed syllable, writing in Cyrillic – рожевий);
  • yellow – “zhovtyi” (жовтий);
  • green – “zelenyi” (зелений);
  • azure or light blue – “blakytnyi” (блакитний);
  • blue – “synii” (синій);
  • violet – “fioletovyi” (фіолетовий);
  • brown — “korychnevyi” (коричневий);
  • gray – “siryi” (сірий);
  • black – “chornyi” (чорний);
  • white sounds like “bilyi” (білий).

Symbolism

Since olden times, the coloristic played an extremely important role in the life and worldview of Ukrainians. They had the belief that this or that color has a huge impact on a person, that’s why all shades and colors in Ukrainian clothes and accessories, amulets, even household items had their magic significance. So.

White is a symbol of innocence, purity and joy. Ukrainian ancestors correlated this color with God, so the attitude towards it was especially respectful.

Red color has dual symbolism. On the one hand, it is a symbol of mother’s love, and on the other, a symbol of suffering, hostility, revenge and aggression.

Orange-colored symbolism takes an intermediate position between soft and tender yellow-orange tint of apricot and a hot fiery-red color of flame. The Ukrainians called it – a flame of love and mercy.

Yellow – the color of the Sun and mellow ears of wheat, without which Ukrainians couldn’t imagine their existence. But it can also have a contradictory meaning: on the one hand, it is the color of the sunbeams, and on the other – the color of the fallen leaves, which means the end, and sometimes death.

Golden is a symbol of holiness and divine power. It also symbolizes wealth, but wealth must be spiritual.

Green is a symbol of nature and youth; it is a “bridge” between two opposite colors of the rainbow spectrum – hot red and cold blue. That is why it is a color of hope for understanding, peace and evenness.

Azure – symbolizes nobility, tenderness and fidelity, and a light sadness about the evanescence of human life.

Blue is a symbol of trust and infinity, like the endless high seas and heavenly depths are seen.

Purple is full of life, but also causes sadness. It symbolizes friendship, trust and dignity.

Brown color symbolizes fears and disappointments. For Ukrainians, brown was the color of the earth, autumn, sorrow, a symbol of obedience and poverty.

Black is a symbol of darkness, evil and death. But also, this color is a symbol of earth.

Traditional colors of Ukraine

Red, white and black colors were traditional for the Ukrainian worldview and culture. This particular trio has always preserved its sacral significance in the life and creative work of Ukrainian people. Colors and paints were important magical tools in their traditional domestic culture. By coloring the necessary household item with this or that color, people tried to scare away evil forces and attract good ones.

Red color is the most used in Ukrainian traditional culture. In Ukrainian embroidery it symbolizes inseparable blood ties, love and everything, that helps to strengthen family ties and happy marital life.

White color expresses an extremely close affinity with the Divine power. White-embroidered things gain light energy, become protective and restore strength.

By contrast with the white color, black evokes associations of wicked power, ill fate and death. But on the Ukrainian agricultural towels, black is the embodiment of the earth, which is a symbol of fecundity and well-being.

And of course, yellow and blue – these are Ukrainian national colors, which represent the state flag. One of the interpretations says that blue color symbolizes cloudless blue sky, and yellow – a field of wheat. There is also a more religious version of color symbolism, according to which the blue color is the God’s power, and the yellow is faith in God.

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