Macedonia – Red, just like all other colors, has different meanings. From a psychological or artistic point of view, it can be a symbol of love, sacrifice, endurance, passion or energy. In eastern cultures, red is a symbol of luck. However, the same color is very prevalent in the Balkans and has a deeper, important and rich meanings.
This time, I’m writing about the meaning of the red color in Macedonian culture and folklore.
Considering that this color is the foundation of the Macedonian flag, let’s also include in this text the sun as a symbol of the Macedonian culture and its meaning.
Red – the color of the Macedonian flags throughout history
Part of the Macedonian tradition are our flags; whether it is the Macedonian flag of uprisings, the flag of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (МПЦ) or the flag of tzar Samuel, they all had red as their base color. Flags of the Macedonian insurgents were red, carrying the message of the eternal struggle for freedom.
Red as the main color in Macedonian embroidery
Macedonia is known as a country with rich handmade works made of textiles. Macedonian embroidery is not only part of the tradition, but is also one of the most important samples of Macedonian ethnographic art, history, culture and folklore. Red is mostly present on the Macedonian national costumes. The dominance of this color in the embroidery art is correlated with its semantic value. In Macedonian folklore, red is taken as the color of life, fertility and health.
Red as the basic color at Easter
As an Orthodox people, Macedonians cling to the custom of dyeing red Ester eggs. The red color symbolizes the shed blood of Christ for the salvation of the people of the country. One of the legends explains that when Mary Magdalene saw Jesus after his resurrection, she carried the basket with eggs to give to the other women. The moment they saw the basket, the eggs changed their color in perfect red. Red is also considered as the symbol for victory, health, optimism and love.
Meaning of the Sun
The Sun has a crucial importance for the Macedonian people. It is emphasized and presented at every occasion – in prayer, at the start of a work on the field or at the end of day. In general, the Sun symbolizes life and energy. Searching deep into the tradition, the Sun but is also taken as a symbol of something old, something eternal. The Sun of Jesus means spreading goodness and love into the world, and there is also an explanation that the Sun symbolizes the intake of cosmic energy. Sun is present in the Macedonian folklore, architecture and literature (songs, stories and legends, buildings and facades, churches, frescoes and icons).
Just like the red color on the Macedonian flag, the Sun was presented as a symbol of the national liberation struggle and movement. The Sun has been chosen as the crucial sign on the Macedonian flag; taking into consideration that it exists for everyone, its meaning is consisted of important moral values, such as liberty, equality, freedom and other common values.
What do you think?