Why Green is a Lucky Colour for Three of London’s Expat Communities


All around the world, there are cultural traditions that might be meaningless in other countries. For example, if you’re dining in someone’s home in Egypt, asking for some salt can be considered one of the biggest insults you could make. Or, in Hungary, it’s simply not customary to clink glasses when saying “cheers” to other drinkers.

But something that a number of different cultures – all of whom have a strong presence in London – agree on is that the colour green is a lucky one. The origins of this belief may come from very different places in each instance, but they are strongly held all the same. Let’s take a closer look. 

The colour of money

Anyone who has witnessed the great Chinese New Year celebrations in and around Gerrard Street each February will have seen all the red lanterns on display, and it also prominently features at weddings. This colour symbolises fire and vitality while promising general good fortune in both in the year ahead and in life in general. Green, on the other hand, is highly significant in this culture for a number of other reasons. It is most strongly associated with wealth as it is the traditional colour used on higher value higher-value Chinese banknotes. You’ll also find that a number of Chinese banks and other financial institutions use green as a corporate colour. The fact that precious gems often associated with China, such as jade, are also green reinforces this link with wealth. The many green shades found in nature also connect it with regeneration, growth and development.

The luck of the Irish

“St Patrick’s Day Parade 2017 – 02” (CC BY 2.0) by garryknight

A month or so after the celebrations for the Chinese New Year come the worldwide St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations – an event when cities everywhere literally turn green for the day. The most powerful symbol of supposed Irish good fortune comes in the form of the shamrock – which over time has become conflated with the four-leaf clover as a symbol of good luck. This may also be why, when they were dreaming up a brand name for Mr Green casino, this was the nomenclature that they chose. Very popular in Ireland as well as elsewhere, this brand has proved to be a big hit with awards judges too, winning multiple plaudits in the online casino genre. This definitely has been not through luck alone, as it offers a wide range of acclaimed games and continually receives many positive player reviews.

The Islamic significance

“Iranian flag” (CC BY 2.0) by blondinrikard

Colour also plays a very important part in Middle Eastern cultures. While blue signifies spirituality and even heaven, it is green that is the true colour of Islam and is therefore seen to be the most fortuitous shade of all. This is also why you’ll find it on many flags of Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

It has to be said, however, that green is not universally seen as being a colour of good luck, especially amongst the acting profession, where it is considered jinxed all the way since the time of Moliere. Then, there’s the traditional English saying, “marry in green, ashamed to be seen”. You have been warned!