In June, I had the amazing opportunity to revisit Moscow, Russia—one of the most beautiful and wonderful places on earth.
As I stood on the cobblestones of Moscow’s famous Red Square (home of St. Basil’s Cathedral), I couldn’t help but think about the true meaning of the term “Red Square.”
The following passage comes from my book, Your Life Isn’t For You:
“Interestingly enough, the name Red Square does not refer to the red bricks of the surrounding buildings; the word red in the Russian language has several meanings. In its archaic form, the word Красная (krasnaya) meant both “red” and “beautiful.” During the sixteenth century, the merchants that traded on the square nicknamed it “beautiful” because of the breathtaking presence of St. Basil’s Cathedral.
“But there’s an even deeper meaning to the color red. In American culture, red has been associated with anger, horror, blood, and death—all very negaitve connotations. But in the Russian culture, the color red is almost the exact opposite. Red is the color of passion, of revolutionary growth, of the blood that keeps us alive, and is a symbolic color for the sun.
“Red, therefore, means both light and life. In a poetic sense, as I was standing on Red Square, I was standing on the very heart of Russia. And in the heart of Russia, my heart was changed.”
Check out the video below to see footage Red Square (all of it filmed by me). Special thanks to David Tolk for letting me use his incredible music.