Green is the Color

3/16/2015 - 1:15:45 PM

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Paddy’s day was an interesting day as a kid, because if you didn’t wear green to school, than for some unknown reason you would get pinched shades of black and blue instead. Of course it was all great fun because even just a little touch of green got you a green light to get passed over for the pinching. Of course we had no idea what the day was about, but who cared when you got to pinch other kids for free?

It was always a fun day, and it’s still fun to pull together some green foods, or Irish soda breads with corned beef and cabbage (for you Irish die-hards) and look back and teach our children a bit more about the day than we knew back then. What is especially interesting the fact that a little Anabaptist school out in the middle of nowhere was paying attention to a holiday that started in Ireland as a religious feast day for the Catholic religion, but that is the nature of holidays in pulling together all cultures and people groups. The thing that so often starts out as a religious thing evolves into a culture celebration that gets shared around the world, and oftentimes this is a good thing that ties us all together.

Let’s go back to school for a minute and explore the color green.

Green is the color

… of nature. It is symbolic of growth, harmony, freshness, and has an association with safety. Going a shade or two darker is associated with money and most people think of spring and summer in connection with green as well, especially right now as we’re all tired of browns, greys and whites from this past winter. Green is also used in home and office decor for it’s restful feeling and outdoorsy expression, and paired with blue really brings in the outdoors to indoors.

We got the word “grene” from the same Germanic root of Middle English and Anglo-Saxon of “grass,” and “grow,” and historically recognize the color as a “common” color. For example, the House of Lords in England has red seats, while the House of Commons has green seats. The Mona Lisa is dressed in green which meant she definitely wasn’t royalty, and even further, the color green is associated with inexperience or envy.

“Someone is a little on the green side for this job.” or “She was practically green with envy.”



  • Green is associated with nature
  • Symbolizes “go green” movements and plant studies
  • Signals us that it’s ok to go at a traffic light stop

In Different Cultures

  • China: may mean unfaithfulness or disloyalty
  • Israel: may symbolize bad news
  • Japan: the words for blue and green are the same. (“ao”)
  • Spain: off-color jokes are “green.”

Luck or Bad Luck?

  • A green shamrock symbolizes luck in most Western places
  • Circus and showmen consider green to be the color of bad luck in Australia
  • An old English rhyme about wedding colors goes something like this:

“Married in green, Ashamed to be seen.” 

Myth: People have thought that sleeping on a pea-green pillow prevents becoming bald.

There you have it. Color studies are always fascinating, and it’s even more amazing how much of life we understand through color. Sickness, fear, death, embarrassment, love, happiness, sunshine, joy, nature, decor, and much more. Each culture and each person ‘sees’ color a little bit differently, but generally speaking we all understand it unless we’re color-blind. Even then most people see some type of color, and that isn’t even beginning to touch on what we sense, feel, hear and smell. These are all things that truly make a wonderful world, and are cause for celebration through out every culture and country, people and place.

Cran-Pistachio Cookies

For Pennsylvanians, the uppermost green in our minds is the color of new plant life and the prettiest spring cookies on the block. We saw this recipe a few weeks ago featured on The Girl Who ate Everything and discovered they were simple to make (with mixes) as well as a big hit on the side of color. Spring is officially three days away, and since lush grass and new fields and flowers are uppermost in our minds, the cookies just had to follow suit.


  • 1 (1 lb 1.5 oz) pouch of Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 box (4 serving size) pistachio instant pudding and pie filling mix
  • ¼ c. flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dry-roasted salted pistachio nuts, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • Optional green food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Stir together cookie mix, unprepped pudding mix and flour. Add the melted butter and eggs and stir until everything is mixed a bit.
  3. Add pistachios and cranberries and mix well
  4. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment-lined or greased cookie sheet and flatten a bit with your fingertips
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The only way you can ruin these cookies is by overbaking, because they’ll lose their soft texture and won’t be as green. They might not look done, but take them out and let them sit for 2 minutes and they will be perfect.
  6. Cool on rack, store in airtight container. Yield: 2 dozen cookies

    Enjoy the explosion of color and taste
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