In "Meteorology Today", author Donald Ahrens describes a rainbow as "one of the most spectacular light shows observed on earth". Rainbows are indeed a glorious sight to experience and are said to symbolize peace and jollity. They are used to drive home various points during television shows and even in art, music and video games, wherein, they are used to symbolize something to come, something of the past or to convey a message. Moreover, rainbows also have religious significance!
The Bible records a rainbow as a symbol of God's covenant with His people. Moreover, the beauty and magnificence of the rainbow has granted it a special place in mythology. Rainbows are relevant in the modern times as well. They are frequently shown in children's shows such as Dora the Explorer, etc. where the bright colors of the rainbow attract the children's attention and promote feelings of laughter and gaiety. In fact, since the 1970s, rainbows are also a popular symbol with the gay community. The gay pride flag contains the radiant rainbow colors in order, which are used to mark 'gay friendly zones'.
Colors of the Rainbow and their Meaning
A rainbow is formed by the reflection and refraction of sunlight in raindrops. When a ray of light enters a raindrop, it bends and gets separated into its constituent colors. How many colors are there in a rainbow? The answer is 7 amazing ones: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Moreover, each of these colors have their own meanings.
This is the color with the longest wavelength, and is the nearest visible light to infrared in the electromagnetic spectrum. The color red stands for enthusiasm, passion, anger, energy and security. It educes extreme emotions in people and being a color of passion can lead to hostility, violence and warfare. It even stands for the flush of love that transcends time (red roses symbolize undying love) and is also a symbol of courage, sacrifice, life (blood of life is red) and death. Red stands for cupid on one end and the devil on the other.
This color is a warm and vibrant color, formed by the combination of red and yellow. The cheerfulness of yellow blends into the aggressiveness of red and calms it. Orange stands for endurance, perseverance and strength! It also stimulates one's appetite and emotions.
Mostly associated with the Sun, yellow is that bright color associated with clarity of thought and awareness. It symbolizes cheerfulness, energy, orderliness and memory improvement. This color enhances and activates the different body systems.
The merging of yellow and blue brings about the lovely shade of green. This color is located exactly at the midpoint of the color balance, that is between red and violet on the color spectrum. Green stands for growth, expansion, health, abundance, balance, fertility, sympathy and harmony. This cool, refreshing color is a symbol of spring and renewal of life. Those who recycle are said to be the ones living green. The human eye is capable of recognizing more variation in the color green than in any other color. Though this color is associated with spring, this color has another aspect to it; green is also the color of envy.
This cool color of divinity stands for peace, tranquility, stability and harmony. It also stands for loyalty and trust. Blue is associated with the color of distance, for example, color of the oceans, skies and heavens. Its energy enables people to look past their current situation, into the unknown. Moreover, blue also represents the feeling of melancholy (Monday blues).
Indigo is a color that amplifies the energy of blue in a rather intense and deep manner. While blue is a soothing color, indigo is a sedating color. It symbolizes the bridge between the finite and the infinite, thereby deepening and turning the blue energy inward. It opens the subconscious and is associated with intuition, psychic abilities, wisdom, spiritual attainment, sudden awareness and self-mastery.
Situated at the opposite end of the color spectrum to red, this color is the highest and most subtle specialization of light. The colors red and blue merge to give violet and this is why this color is associated with the combination of attributes of these two colors. The combination brings about stability to the franticness of red and practicality to the undirected spaciousness of the color blue. Darker tones of violet stand for sorrow, whereas, deep purple signifies high spiritual attainment. Bluish-purple symbolizes idealism, while pale lilac stands for love towards humanity.
One can remember the colors of the rainbow in order, by following a mnemonic. Consider the formula 'ROY-G-BIV', where R stands for red, O for orange and all the way to V for violet. This mnemonic will also help one to remember that red is at the top edge of the rainbow and violet is at the bottom edge. In order to teach children to use this trick, one can start off by asking children to remember the word 'ROY' and have them paint a rainbow with three colors, then add 'G' for green and make another rainbow with the four colors. Next have them memorize the word 'BIV' and have them paint a rainbow with blue, indigo and violet. Finally, have them paint one rainbow with all seven colors. Another way to remember the colors is by remembering the phrase 'Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain'.