Red & Green Complementary Colour Harmonies in Mexico

Colour harmony is such a huge subject I was quickly overwhelmed with options.

I eventually decided I was only going to explore Red & Green colour combinations, and only in Mexico, and mostly just within the last two years.

Red & Green are Complementary Colours, opposite each other on the colour wheel. They are also the colours of the Mexican flag, and consequently show up all over Mexico. Girl with a flag on Mexican Independence DayTwo Mexican dancers in traditional costumes with a mariachi playing violin in the background. The male dancer wears a black sombrero embroidered with white and silver, a knife in a scabbard and a red, white and green sash in honour of the Mexican flag. The woman wears a traditional China Poblano costume, the skirt completely covered with sequins and red, white and green ribbons wound up in her hair.Mexican dancersDetail of a different China Poblana skirt, a traditional costume from the city of Puebla. The colours are typically red, green and white as the Mexicans do love their flag!Detail of the red and green sequinned China Poblana skirt, the colours of the Mexican flagThe Mexican Day of Independence is September 16, the same time that pomegranates are in season. The traditional dish for the celebration is Chiles en Nogada, a ‘green’ poblano chile covered in a creamy ‘white’ walnut sauce and sprinkled with red pomegranate seeds and green cilantro – it’s the Mexican flag on a plate!Chiles en nogada: CC licenceAs I look through my photos I see that many Mexican meals sport this same combination of green, white and red. So my question is: were the meals inspired by the flag, or was the flag inspired by the meals? This ceviche at Playa Manzanillo in Puerto Escondido has red (plate, tomato, pink table cloth) and green (cilantro, avocado). The tomato and the avocado are both native to Mexico.Ceviche at Playa Manzanillo in Puerto Escondido, MexicoA very spiny prickly pear cactus with red fruiting ‘tunas’, another red and green traditional food of Mexico, with both the paddles (nopales) and the fruits being edible and very common in many Meso-American dishes. (How to prepare and cook nopales.)Very spiny prickly pear cactus with red fruiting 'tunas'Nopales available at stall number 56 in the Merced Market in Mexico City. Nopales avialble at stall number 56 in the Merced Market in Mexico CityA de-clawed nopal (dull green) plus the dark red of kidney beans, a traditional breakfast of the indigenous people of Mexico. Frijoles & nopal for breakfast in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Fish & lobster dishes available at a cafe in Puerto Vallarta – a study in a variety of reds & lettuce green. Food stylists often look at the colours of the food and style both the food and the accessories to match.  Fish & lobster dishes available at a cafe in Puerto Vallarta, MexicoTaco accompaniments of radishes, limes, pickled vegetable, red hot sauce and even hotter green salsa made with the green ghost chiles at a Tacos Pastor place in Marquelia, Mexico. Chiles, coming in both red and green, are another food that came from Mexico. Taco accompaniments of radishes, limes, pickled vegetable, red hot sauce and even hotter green salsa made with the green ghost chiles, at a Tacos Pastor place in Marquelia, MexicoA shrine decorated with flowers including the impossible December red roses that the Virgen de Guadalupe gave to the peasant Juan Diego as proof of her existence. She is the patron saint of Mexico and her saint’s day is December 12. A shrine decorated with flowers including the impossible red roses in December that the Virgen de Guadalupe gave to the peasant Juan Diego as proof of her existenceRed Anthurium at the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden. This plant is native to the Americas, ranging from the north of Mexico all the way to northern Argentina. (Some photos and artworks inspired by the Anthurium.)Red Anthurium at the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Garden in MexicoAnother native to the tropical Americas is the Bromeliad. The most famous bromeliad is the pineapple which of course came from Mexico. Red BromeliadStromanthe sanguine, with its striking leaves in cream, green and red, is a member of the Maranta or Prayer Plant family Marantaceae, and again its native land are the tropical areas of the Americas ranging from Mexico south to Argentina. Striking cream leaves with green markings that are red underneath, Stromanthe sanguine 'Triostar', a member of the Maranta or Prayer Plant family Marantaceae, run through the photo app StackablesRed and green also show up on homes.A red door in the mountain village of Las Palmas de Arriba, a short drive from Puerto VallartaThe green tends more toward lime though. Bright green & red door in Manzanillo, MexicoMore of the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Colour Harmonies.

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