The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


The History Behind Red and Pink

Elsa Tullar
A Valentine Day themed bouquet featuring red roses.

Have you ever wondered why pink and red are used to celebrate Valentine’s Day? We, of course, see these colorful hues symbolizing love and passion. However, they also come with a deeper meaning and history.

Soon after the winter holidays and New Year celebrations come to an end, shades of red and pink begin to take over stores around the world. Heart-shaped candy, boxes of chocolates, teddy bears, and bouquets of roses take the world by storm with hopes to secure a Valentine’s Day date or surprise a loved one on this special day full of appreciation.

In Greek Mythology, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was often illustrated wearing long red robes and dresses. Similarly, for the Romans, the goddess of love, Venus, was also associated with the color red. Centuries ago in ancient Greece and Rome, red dye was incredibly expensive, so gifting a red-colored item was seen as a meaningful gift of affection. Not only was this color associated with the upper class because it was expensive to produce, but it additionally developed a stereotype of wealth and power to those who owned red-colored belongings such as clothes and accessories.

A variety of plants could be used to create red dye, however, in this era, the most common use was the madder plant. This herbaceous plant species belongs to the bedstraw and coffee family Rubiaceae and is known for primarily sourcing red pigments.

In China, the occurrence of red is known to bring luck and good fortune as well as fertility. Rituals from baby-naming parties to weddings all consistently involve the color red, which is also known to symbolize a long and healthy life. In India, brides wear many red accessories and clothing on their wedding days as a sign of beauty, purity, and of course, love.

What about pink? So often we hear stories of Valentine’s Day like these that are associated directly with red, however pink also signifies love and the worldwide celebration of February 14th. Pink is often seen as a softer and more youthful version of red and represents young love, innocence, and purity, somewhat similar to red. In addition, when on the search for the perfect bouquet, popular Valentine’s Day flowers include roses, tulips, and carnations that come in both shades, making the meaning behind these gifts even stronger.

Typically, red symbolizes deep romantic love, while pink can symbolize love for friends, children, family, and even pets. So while you can purchase red roses for your one true love, pink roses will be a better choice for your best friend.

While we might not be aware of it, humans react to colors subconsciously which helps spark feelings that we associate with different hues. Not much thought usually goes into what colors symbolize, however, they have deep cultural meanings and significance that can enhance our understanding of certain holidays, such as Valentine’s Day.

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About the Contributor
Elsa Tullar
Elsa Tullar, Editor-in-Chief
Elsa is a senior at AHS and is one of the Editor-in-chiefs for the Skier Scribbler.  This is her third year participating in the journalism program and has enjoyed exploring different leadership positions and styles of writing.  Elsa is an avid skier and pickleball player and will do anything to get a plate of tacos.  Additionally, Elsa enjoys spending her time being active outside and educating young students about journalism and the environment.

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