Rainbows: Part III - The Culture Of The Rainbow


Part II Introduced us to the many scientific discoviries as a result of studying the rainbow.

3. Culture – How do we express culture through rainbows? And why is it important?

While science has explained why and how we see the rainbow, our souls have sought to understand and explain it’s mystery and find a place in our lives.

Rainbows are seen in every culture through every era in many forms: mythology, art, literature, film, music, flags, fashion, logos, current events .... and even gaming. The list goes on and on.


Here are just are a few cultural examples grounded in mythology and displayed in many forms of art and literature:

  • Greece: The rainbow is a path made by the messenger IRIS between heaven and the sea, so that the goddess cold replenish the rain-clouds with water from the sea.

  • Chinese: The rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed by goddess NuWa. In the Chinese myth, the goddess NuWa once mended the broken sky with seven coloured stones... which we’ve come to know as the seven colours of the rainbow.

  • India: Hindus believe, the rainbow is the bow of Rama, the incarnation of Vishnu. And represents the seven charkas of the body. from the first charka (red) to the seventh charka (violet).

  • Christian & Jewish religions: The rainbow is a covenant with God. Where God promised Noah that life on Earth would never again be destroyed by a flood, visually depicted in a painting by Joseph Anton Koch "Noah's Thank Offering".

  • Ireland: The the leprechaun's secret hiding place for his pot-o-gold lies at the end of the rainbow.

  • Today’s modern world: Rainbows are used as a guide to eating healthy fruits and vegetables.


As a branding exercise the Rainbow Flag made famous in the 70’s by the USA’s gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender community, strategically designed to reflect the diversity of the community. Proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity. A new era of hope and social change.

Film & Music

In American entertainment music, song writers have used the concept of the rainbow in many of their films:

  • “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from the Wizard Of Oz – seen as a symbol of hope, where dreams come true. Dorothy’s Aunt Em tells her to find a place where she won’t get into any trouble. And, Dorothy wonders if there is such a place.

  • Sesame Street – Kermit the Frog sings his famous “Rainbow Connection”, a connection between people and their dreams.

Architecture & Interior Design

Even interior architecture has seen the rainbow’s influence. The Rainbow Room is one of New York City’s most famous dining and party rooms located in the Rockefeller Plaza. The name chosen was to be “distinctive” and “not sound like an ordinary Eighth Avenue food joint.” It was inspired by the installation of new technology – an RCA color organ “that automatically converts music into changing colors in harmony with the moods expressed by the music.” This interior architectural space is now historically designated.

Phantom As An Obsession

So you can see how nature’s gift of the rainbow, has shaped our minds, hearts and soul from the beginning of time.

And, why this phantom is a small obsession with me. I could never exhaust its inspiration. I look for every opportunity I can to employ all seven colours of the rainbow in some form or fashion in one of my interior projects. Sometimes boldly but often times more subtly – whispering its magic.

As the song says:

Somewhere over the rainbow 
Skies are blue, 
And the dreams that you dare to dream 
Really do come true. 
(Over The Rainbow, The Wizard of Oz movie song sung by Judy Garland 1939d)

7 Chakras Of The Body

7 Chakras Of The Body

"Noah's Thank Offering" (c.1803) by Joseph Anton Koch

"Noah's Thank Offering" (c.1803) by Joseph Anton Koch

Irish Leprechaun's Pot-O-Gold at the end of the Rainbow.

Irish Leprechaun's Pot-O-Gold at the end of the Rainbow.

Sesame Street "The Rainbow Connection"

Sesame Street "The Rainbow Connection"

Rainbow Room, Rockefeller Plaza in New York City USA.

Rainbow Room, Rockefeller Plaza in New York City USA.


Thank-you to all the photographers who have made this 3rd and final posting more lively with great illustrations and photos. For photo credits please click on the photo.  This will take you directly to the website from where the photo originated.

Disclaimer:   The views expressed on Spaces Custom Interiors Blog are solely those of the blog post author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the persons or organizations with which the author has described or is associated. 

Thanks to Wikipedia for supplying some of  the research and many of the images. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow

Dolores is an Interior Designer located in Toronto, Cananda. She loves creating unique WOW spaces for living, working and playing. Drop her an e-mail to say hello and let her know what you thought of this blog post.