Why is the red carpet red?


By: Sam Berman, Buzz60

All eyes are on the Hollywood stars when they hit the red carpet, but how much thought do we give to the ground they walk on?

Probably not as much as we should, considering its fascinating origins.

It's not entirely clear when red carpets were first introduced, but they seemingly date at least as far back as ancient Greece in the Aeschylus play "Agamemnon."

In it, a path of dark red tapestries signified a "crimson path" that mortal men couldn't walk on.

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In reference to the color of the carpet, Sonnet Stanfill, senior curator of the Victoria & Albert Museum told BBC, "Scarlet was among the most prized dyes as it was the most difficult to make and the most expensive." What that means is scarlet or red carpets represented royalty.

They were also used in 1821, with the red carpet being rolled out for president James Monroe when he arrived by riverboat to Georgetown, South Carolina.


According to BBC, it wasn't until the 1920s that the red carpet became what we know it to be today, a Hollywood icon meant for film royalty.

The Oscar red carpet is now roughly 16,500 square feet, and you'll probably never look at it — or any other red carpet — the same way again.

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