The Real Meaning Behind Those Pretty Pastel Easter Colors

Hadley Mendelsohn
·2 min read
Photo credit: Leanne Ford Interiors
Photo credit: Leanne Ford Interiors

From House Beautiful

Out of all the holidays, Easter has the prettiest colors (don't worry, we still love you Halloween). The soft glow of cotton candy pink, pale sky blue, buttercream yellow, lavender, and mint green evoke springtime memories of dappled sunshine on grassy lawns. But beyond their beauty, Easter colors are packed with important meaning, as they mark the major transitions from Lent to Good Friday and then Easter Sunday. Learn more about the religious connotations and history behind Easter colors below, whether you observe the holiday yourself or are just curious about the significance behind all those charming pastels.

RED

Photo credit: House Beautiful
Photo credit: House Beautiful

Unsurprisingly, red is associated with sacrifice, blood, martyrdom, and fire. These images of destruction are also signifiers of a new start on the horizon. Red is the color of Palm Sunday, reports Catholic Financial Life.

In the Bible: "'Come now, let us reason together,' says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'" (Isaiah 1:18)

WHITE

Photo credit: House Beautiful
Photo credit: House Beautiful

White represents joy, love, virtue, holiness, and all things angelic, including the purity of Jesus Christ, as described by the Christian Resource Institute.

In the Bible: "And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light." (Matthew 17:2)

PURPLE

Photo credit: House Beautiful
Photo credit: House Beautiful

Violet is the color of Lent, and specifically, the day that precedes Easter. That's why you see it a lot in church sanctuaries. It was a precious dye in ancient times, which is why it's often associated with royalty, and represents penance, humility, and melancholy.

In the Bible: "He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God . . . On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:13, 16)"

GREEN

Photo credit: House Beautiful
Photo credit: House Beautiful

When Easter is over, priests wear green. It's a hopeful color, symbolizing the resurrection of Jesus Christ and "the promise of new life," according to the CRI.

In the Bible: "But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever." (Psalm 52:8).

PINK

Photo credit: House Beautiful
Photo credit: House Beautiful

Pink is a joyous color, says the CRI, and is also worn to represent purity and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the Bible: "Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land" (Song of Solomon 2:12).

With all this in mind, today, Easter colors can extend beyond the bible references and include anything that brings you springtime joy, from pastel blue to usher in bluer skies and Peep-inspired yellows.

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