Symbolism of the Color Yellow

Definition: Symbolism of the Color Yellow
Symbolizes daylight and divinity but also corruption and humility.

Yellow is the color of daylight, but may also represent corruption or humility.

Yellow in Christianity

As the color of light, yellow may be used to represent divinity in Christian art. However, because yellow light is not pure white, it may also be used to symbolize corruption and degradation.

Yellow in Buddhism

Yellow has the highest symbolic value in Buddhism through its link with the saffron robes of monks. This color, previously worn by criminals, was chosen by Gautama Buddha as a symbol of his humility and separation from materialist society. Saffron yellow thus signifies renunciation, desirelessness, and humility. It is the color of earth, thus a symbol of rootedness and the equanimity of the earth.


  1. Kumar, Nitin. “Color Symbolism in Buddhist Art.” Exotic India Art. 1 February 2002. Excerpts reprinted with permission of the author.

Article Info

Title Symbolism of the Color Yellow
Last UpdatedJanuary 31, 2021
MLA Citation “Symbolism of the Color Yellow.” 31 Jan. 2021. Web. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021. <>