The Seven Colors of Cambodian Tradition

Cambodia is a fascinating country to visit, known for its spectacular historical landmarks, rich culture, and its people’s natural hospitality. We can all learn from their varied past when it comes to their rituals and traditions, particularly the custom of using the seven colors during official ceremonies in Cambodia.

The rich culture of Cambodia is a reflection of its extensive and varied history. Its surrounding nations, particularly India, have a noticeable influence. However, religion has mainly been used as a promoter for cultural innovation. Its people have combined their native animistic beliefs with Buddhism and Hinduism to create a distinctive Khmer religious system.

The wearing of the seven colors during important rituals is among the most well-known traditions in Cambodian culture. Silk fabric itself has a long history dating back to the first century. Only elite families, performers, and members of the Royal family have ever worn this fabric throughout history.

Today, the fabric is recognized for creating both traditional clothing and contemporary outfits for special occasions like marriages, birthrights, and other significant rituals. People adhere to the seven-color code, especially during important occasions in Cambodia. On the following day of the week, each color must be worn.

  • Sunday is a red cloth, which represents bravery or courage.
  • Monday is a yellow or dark orange cloth, which symbolizes equality.
  • Tuesday is a purple cloth, which expresses honesty or loyalty.
  • Wednesday is an olive or light green fabric with red reflections, embodying justice.
  • Thursday is a dark green fabric, signifying hope.
  • Friday is a blue fabric, meaning forgiveness.
  • Saturday is a dark purple or brown fabric, signifying sadness.

Cambodians continue to stick to their belief in lucky colors, despite the fact that most nations have distinct colors and associated days for wearing them. The seven colors were thought to bring success, happiness, harmony, health, and prosperity to Khmer people if they practiced wearing them for seven days.

Photos: JEKK Photography, SiemReap

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