Green – colour of Christmas, of Islam, of nature, of life Essay

Green – colour of Christmas, of Islam, of nature, of life.

1. Introduction – History of Colour.

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Colour has been investigated and used for more than 2000 years. Throughout the centuries, different civilizations have experimented and learned more about colour. We are still learning today about how colour affects us and its importance in our lives.

The ancient Egyptians have been recorded to have been using colour for cures and ailments. They looked at nature and copied it in many aspects of their lives. Their deep knowledge and understanding of the healing powers of the colour rays was so nearly lost when, later on in history, the Greeks considered colour only as a science. Hippocrates, amongst others, abandoned the metaphysical side of colour, concentrating only on the scientific aspect.

Some of the early studies and theories about light were done by Aristotle who discovered that by mixing two colours, a third is produced. He also discovered that light travels in waves. During the Middle Ages, Paracelsus reintroduced the knowledge and philosophy of colour using the power of the colour rays for healing.

A pioneer in the field of colour, Isaac Newton, passed a beam of sunlight through a prism. When the light came out of the prism it was not white but was of seven different colours: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. The spreading into rays he called dispersion and the different coloured rays he called the spectrum. He learnt that when the light rays were passed again through a prism the rays turned back into white light.

The present research studies on of the most popular colours that is wide-spread in the nature – green.

2. Scientific aspect of Green.

a) Green in colour spectrum.

Each colour of the spectrum has its own properties in the form of its wavelength and frequency (frequency = terahertz (one trillion cycles per second); wavelength = nanometers, one meter equals 1,000,000,000 nanometers; one nanometer is about the length of ten atoms in a row). Green has following figures: wavelength – 570 – 500 nm, frequency – 580 – 530 thz.

The color systems used by scientists and ordinary people are entirely different. We usually mix blue and yellow paint and get a shade of green; a scientist mixes green and red light to create yellow.

One should separate the two different kinds of color in the world. First, there’s the color one can touch, such as the skin of an apple or a painted wall. These colors are part of the surface of an object. Next, there’s the color one can’t touch, such as a beam of red light and the colors produced by one’s computer monitor. Colors generated by light are part of one color system. The tangible colors which are on the surface of objects or on the printed page are another color system.

Scientists recognize the light primaries of red, green and blue. When combined, red and green light rays produce yellow, blue and green produce cyan, red and blue produce magenta. Red, green and blue mix to create white (light).

The following color model is used in computer monitors, television sets, and theater. If one puts his eye up against his television screen one might see something like the illustration below.

Red, green and blue dots of light are creating the image. Where red and green overlap, one will see yellow.

This system applies only to devices employing light, such as computer monitors and television sets.

Primary Colours
Secondary Colours
Tertiary Colours
Most people recognize red, yellow and blue as the 3 basic primary colors. These primaries are the pure colors which can not be created by mixing any other colors. Secondary hues are the result of mixing any of the two primaries. Tertiary colors result from mixing the secondary hues.

b) Green in nature.

We all enjoy the beautiful show of colors as leaves change each autumn. Leaves are nature’s food factories. Plants take water from the ground through their roots. They take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into glucose. Glucose is a kind of sugar. Plants use glucose as food for energy and as a building block for growing. The way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into sugar is called photosynthesis. That means “putting together with light.” A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.

As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter. This is how the trees “know” to begin getting ready for winter. During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can’t see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.

3. Cultural aspect.

a) Green in history and culture.

This colour has always been an essential colour of humans. Where life is, there is always green.

In some of religions this colour is considered to be sacred. It is thought to be the colour of immortality. Some nations associate this colour with spring, fertility, hope, synthesis of material and spiritual. In some countries green is the symbol of prosperity (for example, US dollars are green). In other countries, mostly the European ones, it is known as the colour of bankruptcy. In the past the bankrupts were even made to wear a green hat.

In Celtic myths the Green man was the God of fertility. Later in the millennium, Early Christians banned green because it had been used in pagan ceremonies. Green was a sacred color to the Egyptians representing the hope and joy of Spring. Green is a sacred color to Moslems. Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s birthday is celebrated as “Green Day” because he loved to garden. In India the color green is the 4th energy Chakra (the heart). So, in our heart lays the 2nd kingdom of nature.

As evidenced by some of the 15th Century portraits, the color green was the best choice for the bride’s gown because of its earliest symbolism.

 Green stones worn, are said to promote receptiveness to the wisdom of nature. A green stone on a gold necklace worn near the heart is the outward display of being in touch with your personal spirit and earth nature spirits. Their associations with the elements of earth, also lead to their use in meditations and spells involving money, prosperity, riches, and luck.

Nowadays green is one of flag’s colours of some countries, symbolizing the connection with nature and thus thanking nature for all the gifts. Green is one of the Christmas colours. Pine trees are green and most people use pine trees for their Christmas trees. Christmas wreaths are also made of green pine branches by some people.

b) Green in medicine.

Green gemstones have always been the color of earth’s second kingdom (plant life) the color of nature, of fertility, of life sustaining vegetable spirits. Green gems are thought to strengthen the eyes, control kidney and bladder functions, control digestion problems and prevent headaches. Medicine widely uses green colour in treatment. Green is the color of the heart chakra, of nature, it is the most predominant color on the planet. It balances our energies, and it can be used to increase our sensitivity and compassion. It represents purity and harmony. It has a calming effect, especially in inflamed conditions of the body. It is soothing to the nervous system. It is a great healer. It builds muscles, bones and other tissue cells.

Physical  Green is cooling, soothing, and calming both physically and mentally. If one is exhausted, green initially has a beneficial effect, but after a time, it becomes tiring.

Green acts upon the sympathetic nervous system. It relieves tension in the blood vessels and lowers the blood pressure. It acts upon the nervous system as a sedative and is helpful in sleeplessness, exhaustion, and irritability.

Green is an aphrodisiac and a sex tonic, a disinfectant, germicide, antiseptic and bacteriocide. Psychological  Green awakens greater friendliness, hope, faith, and peace.

Green is restful and revitalizing to overtaxed mental conditions. It is emotionally soothing. Green loosens and equalizes the etheric body.

It can be applied beneficially in cardiac conditions, high blood pressure, ulcers, exhaustion, and headaches.

Green harmonizes, life-giving, calms the mind, nerves, fever, and acidity; balances the metabolism, stabilizes the weight, tones liver and spleen; and benefits the pituitary gland.

It is said that green is the most restful color for the human eye. People who work in green environments have fewer stomach aches. Suicides dropped 34% when London’s Blackfriar Bridge was painted green.

We are lucky that now we are all able to choose any colour we like and can buy products of any colour freely. Every colour has its positive and negative aspects. We need to expand our awareness of colour so that we can truly benefit from nature’s gifts so that ‘colour’ becomes a way of life, not just a therapy.

Bibliography:

1.                          Color Systems. Color Matters. 1995-2002, J.L.Morton. 29 June 2004 ;http://www.colormatters.com/rgb.html.;

2.                          Colour History. Colour therapy healing. 2003, 2004. 29 June 2004. http://www.colourtherapyhealing.com/colour/colour_history.php

3.             Why do leaves change color in the fall? Science made simple, Inc. 1995-2002. 29 June 2004 ;http://www.sciencemadesimple.com;.

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