So, N is not an easy letter to start a color with. We have Navy and Neon, and neither of them is going to help in my quest for folklore and mythology. So, once again I have to resort to linguistic sleight-of-hand.
list of color names, I came across a shade called Nadeshiko Pink. It is a soft pink color named after the Japanese word for carnations. It has a very important place in Japanese flower symbolism: Yamato nadeshiko is the term they use for the ideal Japanese woman, for the ultimate delicate feminine beauty.
Sadly, my search for a tale that explains the connection did not yield any results.
I do have a story that involves carnations.
Szegfűhajú János (János Carnation-hair) is a Hungarian folktale with one of the most peculiar heroes I have ever seen. I came across the story when I was doing research for my book, and ran into a problem (much like with the letter N) with finding folktales about telepathy. After scouring the whole world for a story, I found it right under my nose, in Hungary. Duh.
We never did figure out why János is called Carnation-hair; we just know that his hair is somehow peculiar and important. I asked a bunch of people, including folklorists, and got a bunch of answers. Some said his hair must be red (red carnations are common in Hungary), or pink, or purple, or wavy, or fragrant, or smooth, or just straight up made of flowers. It was a delightful poll to do.
The story itself is very long, and full of fascinating imagery. It tells about a boy who is raised by a fairy in a castle under the sea. His stepmother repeatedly cuts him into pieces and puts him back together, giving him more and more superhuman powers every time, including telepathy and astral projection (this is probably related to early Hungarian shaman beliefs). Eventually he sets out to find the Diamond Princess he saw in a dream, and adventures his way across the kingdoms of Copper, Silver, and Gold, breaking other princesses' hearts and being hanged for it more than once (yeah you read that right). I like this story for the deadpan tough love of the fairy godmother ("and then she killed him and cut him into pieces, and put him back together again"), the various personalities of the metal (heh) princesses, and just the overall weirdness of a telepathic fairy tale hero.
You can find the full English translation and notes in my book.
For those of you who read Hungarian, here is the Hungarian version online (of the story, not the book).