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The colours of February

  • Published at 08:02 pm February 21st, 2018
  • Last updated at 08:12 pm February 21st, 2018
The colours of February

Yellow and orange - February 13

The first day of Falgun that typically falls on February 13 of the Gregorian Calendar, is the start of the 11th month of the Bengali year. It is the beginning of spring, the last of the six seasons in Bangladesh. Although six seasons have effectively disappeared, thanks to climate change caused by humans, the first day of Falgun or Pahela Falgun is celebrated throughout the country by people from all walks of life. The urban manifestation of this celebration is expressed through bright yellow and orange colours, mirroring the yellowing of tree leaves at the end of winter. Many different shades of yellow and orange are seen in the nature at this time, signaling a rejuvenation of the plants and trees.

Red - February 14

Red is associated with Valentine's Day and romance in general. There may have been no mystery as to why it became the colour of Valentine. But did you know that research found red makes women seem more attractive? Women wearing typical red or even standing against a red background in photos were seen as more attractive or desirable in a study by Andrew Elliot, Sally Augustin reports on the Psychology Today website. Red is also a very prominently present colour in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in weddings. Brides in the subcontinent, including in Bangladesh, wear red saris. It is perhaps no leap of the imagination for Bangladeshis to accept red as the colour of love.

Black and white - February 21

Black symbolizes darkness. Evolutionary Biology tells us that night time was dangerous for humans and that's why our self-preservation mechanism programmed us to fear the absence of light. That sense of omen seeped into the symbols of our lives. That is probably why we still express everything grim and ominous through the colour black. The colour of February 21 is black because of its tragic history. People protesting and dying in 1952 for the right to speak in the mother tongue did not imagine that one day their sacrifice will be acknowledged internationally. But the arc of history sometimes bends towards justice and that is why February 21 is now the International Mother Language Day. However, we still mourn the language martyrs on that day and wear black to symbolize the tragedy. Unlike in Western culture, white is also the colour of loss in the Indian and Bangladeshi culture. Traditionally, Hindu widows would be allowed to only wear white. But like many other customs and practices, this transcends the Hindu culture and Muslims to wear white at janazas and ceremonies that mark death. The colour is seen as something that is devoid of pleasures and extravagance, and thus considered appropriate for serious occasions like funerals. This is why the saris worn on February 21 are usually in black and white. However, white is also broadly seen as the color of peace and purity.
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