Russian icons in the red corner

The word “red” is often used in the names in Russia, and before that in the USSR. Red Square, Red Kremlin, Red Flag…

The Old Russian Meaning of the Word “Red”

“Red” in Russia, as well as in many other countries, meant “beautiful”, “good”, “honorable”.

For a special event a guy in a village used to put on a red shirt. Then he went for a walk with a beautiful girl, whom he told all sorts of stories. He would look up at the sky and saw the Red sun. He went to Moscow’s Red Square for gifts (it used to bea market square).

Russian icons in the house were hung in the “red” corner (honorary corner), a dear guest was seated in a “red” place (place of honor).

There were also negative meanings of the word. “Red” meant “dangerous”, “fiery.” “Let the red rooster out” is an expression meaning “set a fire to something.”

Color Red During the Soviet Times

After the October Revolution of 1917 when the Bolsheviks came to power, they needed a new symbol. This symbol became color red.

But the Bolsheviks gave the red color a different meaning – it was the color symbolizing the blood shed during the revolution and class war.

Red flags, red five-pointed stars, red banners, red tapes, the Red Guard, the Red Army…

Red in Modern Russia

Today the attitude towards color red in Russia is the same as in the rest of the world. Red is considered an active and even aggressive color.

But there are some nuances. Red is considered in Russia rather a color of women than men. If a woman wants to draw attention to herself, she would wear a red dress, or shoes or accessories, and would put on a bright red lipstick.


Today in Russia some superstitious mothers tie a red thread color on a child’s arm. They believe it would protect their baby from any negative influences.

Expression of Love

Young men often give their girlfriends red flowers, or pale red (pink) as a manifestation of their love.

pic: фотобанк Лори

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