The philosophy of Confucius stresses individual morality including humaneness, righteousness, etiquette, wisdom and sincerity. Compared to Western culture, China has a different and more powerful scale of color symbolism. COVID Update: We are open and experiencing extremely high order volume. Many of the histories of these animals as symbols tie into Daoism or Confucianism or Buddhism, and sometimes all three. Please feel try our free trial to learn mandarin on TutorMandarin today! You can read more about this usage of similar sounds in our previous post “Chinese New Year Traditions”, Chinese radicals in “How to write in Chinese – a Beginner’s Guide” and 5 Lucky Things in Chinese Cultures. 福星 – fúxīng means the good fortune star god (one of the three famous “star gods –  三星 – sān xīng ”). This value becomes one of the major themes in Chinese painting, calligraphy and poetry. All Rights Reserved. This passage mainly summarizes the profound symbolism of them when they are used to describe a person. 喜喜 is the Chinese symbol that represents happiness. The national exam is where people got their chance to become high ministers ( higher social status). The daughter gave a head part of a poem which goes: It is a very common custom to exchange poems in Chinese language learning during that time.If someone gave a head part, the other person had to reply with a tail part of the poem. Younger consumers are highly attracted to Purple when it is used in brands and for marketing. Topics include Chinese food, World Heritage sites, China's Spring Festival, Kungfu, and Beijing opera. The young boy live happily for 91 years and died a peaceful death. The sun falls under the yang category, as it is said to energize and purify, both of which are yang traits. The Five Element Chart shows associated properties or aspects of each element. “福 – fú,禄 – lù, 寿 – shòu” triplet (left and right), 禄 – lù cushion (middle). Red is the traditional color worn by Chinese brides, as it is believed to ward off evil. We previously wrote about the use of colors in Chinese culture, and now is as good a time as any to extend this topic on Chinese symbolism. Use purple in your kitchen to attract love and affection. But the 寿星 shòuxīng has the ability to twist the digits. Gold symbolizes wealth and riches in Chinese culture, which is the same in Western culture. Tres chic! The "he" in a woman’s name is a wish that she be pure and respected. Ancient Chinese people wore white clothes and hats only when they mourned for the dead. In traditional Chinese symbolism, purple symbolizes divinity and immortality. The usage of this Chinese symbol come down from their belief in 寿星 shòuxīng (Canopus), the star God of the south pole. Decorate your kitchen in red to attract good luck to your household. When he reached the final state of the exam, the Emperor gave him the poem to complete: Straight away he remembered his lover’s poem and used it without hesitation. Therefore, it is very common to give this symbol on birthdays and to elder people. The phoenix is probably the most iconic mythical bird in human history. However, the way these symbols have been created and their use are often different from those in the West. It means good fortune, good luck, and wealth ( all of what we wish for). Yellow – Earth - Yellow is an imperial color representing power, royalty and prosperity in traditional Chinese color symbolism. In Chinese culture, though, dragons are never considered enemies, according to the New World Encyclopedia. Thus, people believe that he can provide them to get the highest position and the highest salary. As Yang Cheng was very good at convincing, the Emperor agreed to stop taking the villagers and let all of them go home. In Chinese culture, these fluffy tufts of meteorological cotton candy have some interesting cultural significance. Once the exam is over, he returned back to the girl and married her. I hope this article will be useful when you come across these Chinese symbols next time. The village population was dropping significantly and those who left in the village were also suffering because their loved ones were taken away from them. There’s even an older legend about the usage of this Chinese symbol. The name é¹³ guàn is used for both storks and cranes and the same symbolism applies. This is a very famous and common decoration for Chinese weddings. Purple – In the western culture, purple symbolizes royalty while in Chinese symbolism it stands for divinity and immortality. In modern times, Purple is being used to represent Love or Romance in China just as red color does in the West. Red is a popular color in Chinese culture, symbolizing luck, joy, and happiness. The Chinese … A Chinese dragon head on a dragon boat Chinese dragons are powerful and benevolent symbols in Chinese culture, with supposed control over watery phenomenon, e.g. In the past, the government officials got the highest social status after the Emperor. “喜喜”  双喜- shuāngxǐ makes the best gift for Chinese weddings. The Daoism View of Nature and Numbers The whole universe is made of two basic forces: yin (阴 … In Chinese culture, to understand one meaning for the frog is to ignore a host of others. It is first made in ancient Chin and the earliest silk is found in tombs at the neolithic site in Henan which is dating back 8,500 years. There’s also another legend of 禄星 – lùxīng (god of career achievement “lù star). 'double joy'). You can just paste the 喜喜 sticker to your gift or can even print it on gold jewelry as shown in the picture. symbols in chinese culture The Chinese, like Westerners, have their traditional symbols in their language, visual arts, and everyday life. Thus, “the upside down 福” sounds similar to “福 arrives at the house”. The "he" in a man’s name indicates he is either a Buddhist or connected to Buddhism. Your email address will not be published. It also represents the late summer season and the central direction. When it is combined with the pine and a spotted dear is known as the ‘prolonged life’. This is how 福 – fú becomes the ultimate symbol of good luck and abundance. The Chinese sunset is also said to symbolize balance. Silk, 丝绸, Chinese pinyin: sÄ« chóu, is certainly another typical symbols of China. Unfortunately, he fell ill halfway near a mountain village. Held in April, the Qingming Festival (known in English as the ‘Tomb-Sweeping Day’) is a day for remembering ancestors. Red is a popular color in Chinese culture, symbolizing luck, joy, and happiness. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Today, people still use it as a symbol that brings wealth and monetary fortune. These two men turned out to be the old man of the north pole and the old man of south pole ( 寿星 shòuxīng). In Chinese culture, however, frogs can signify everything from prosperity and immortality to ignorance. Yellow = earth? Chinese symbol “喜喜”  双喜– shuāngxǐ ( double happiness). They were very satisfied with the boy’s behavior and they reward him by changing his lifespan from 19 to 91 years. When the time came for the student to left for the exam, he was very sad as he was already in love with the daughter. In some instances, however, white is associated with death and is a color commonly worn at funerals. Our lead times have been extended on some items. This tradition is because the character 到 – dào and 倒 – dǎo have similar pronunciation.到 – dào means “to arrive” and 倒 – dǎo means “upside down” or “fall”. The Emperor was so joyful to see such a good matching poem that he gave the student the highest appraisal. Dragons are everywhere in China — in legends, festivals, astrology, art, names, and idioms. Decorate your kitchen in yellow to attract good fortune to your household. Top 10 Chinese Cultural Symbols As the biggest developing country of the world and the popular travel destination for numerous foreigners, China has a long history of more than 5000 years, which brings up the resplendently rich modern civilization. That means Yang Cheng had already sacrificed his life when he pleaded for the sake of the village. It also stands as an example of loneliness and elegance, among others. Green is used to describe organic things, like calling organic milk “green milk” or calling pesticide-free vegetables "green vegetables". Therefore, you will see 寿 – shòu as a decorative symbol of all kind of objects ceramic, furniture and so on. The villagers were suffering because the Emperor did not let them return home and he forced them to serve him forever. He also wrote a very convincing memorial which he handed over to the Emperor. It’s natural that colors are followed by shapes as they are the fundamental elements of visual art. Who knew! However, in the Chinese culture, Magpies symbolizes good luck, joy and fortune. Magpie in Chinese is 喜鹊 (xǐ què) . The Prince was very happy with the answer and this tradition was handed down since then. But during that era, the Emperor can kill a person if he wanted. Blue represents the element of wood in Chinese culture, also symbolizing immortality and advancement. So it should come as no surprise that these animal themes and motifs are found in every square inch of rich Chinese culture and heritage.. Here are 8 Colors and Their Symbolism in Chinese Culture. Since there are a lot of Gods that provide wealth 禄 – lùxīng God is not as popular as the 福星 – fúxīng and 寿星 shòuxīng. This star is the Jupiter and Chinese people believe that 福星 provides good fortune and wealth.The legend tells us about a governor name Yang Cheng, a governor of Daozhou in Western Han (206 BC – 24 AD). Copyright © 2020 Big Chill. 8 Colors and Their Symbolism in Chinese Culture. Color Symbolism in Chinese Culture. Color in Chinese culture refers to the certain values that Chinese culture attaches to colors, like which colors are considered auspicious (吉利) or inauspicious (不利).The Chinese word for "color" is yánsè (顏色).In Classical Chinese, the character sè (色) more accurately meant "color in the face", or "emotion".It was generally used alone and often implied sexual desire or desirability. Bat (蝙蝠 - biānfú) - longevity, happiness, good luck (the Chinese word for bat, "蝠" (fú) is homophonous with the word for good fortune, "福" (fú)) bats, pair of - double good fortune. 喜喜 is not an official Chinese character. Cultural Symbols in Chinese Architecture Donia Zhang Director, Neoland School of Chinese Culture, Canada Associate, City Institute, York University, Canada Email: donia.zhang@oxfordbrookes.net ABSTRACT Culture has been recognized as the fourth pillar of sustainable development, and culture is often viewed as a He also told him not to disturb them. Surprisingly, the element of water is represented by the color black in Chinese culture instead of the traditional blue. I’m going to tell you about some of the most common Chinese symbols decorations, how we use them, and the story behind each symbol. Luckily, a herbalist and his daughter found him and took him home.They were very kind and took great care of him that the young student recovered shortly. Long life also means good health which all of us wish for. The number 2 (二 or 兩, pinyin: èr or liǎng) is most often considered a good number in Chinese culture. The Red Guard claimed that it would make China “red from the inside out”, with the ultimate aim of turning the entire universe the same color. 10/5/2009-- Color symbolism in Chinese culture in many respects differs from the Western one. Fresh bamboo in Chinese culture is the symbol of gentleman who is firm, elegant, loyal and straightforward. It is a symbol that we call it 双喜- shuāngxǐ. They were also high official. After his death, the village built a temple to commemorate him. Symbolism in chinese culture 1. 寿 – shòu(longevity “long life”) symbol brooch and wall paper, Shou is a Chinese symbol of long life. There is a Chinese saying: "good things come in pairs". In Chinese culture, green stands for cleanliness and purity from contamination. Yellow represents the earth in traditional Chinese culture. Now you know why Chinese people consider 寿 (shòu) as the symbol of long life. 福 – fú is one of the most famous Chinese character widely used for decorations. The iconic communist and socialist symbols, including the red flag and red star, were introduced by China’s ally Moscow in the former Soviet Union, and were taken to the Chinese heart instantly. In Chinese paintings, cranes are often painted with other important symbols such as peaches and pine trees. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. As time passed by, he was believed to be immortalized as 福星 and has proven to bring happiness, prosperity and good luck to all those who need it the most. In Chinese believes, the cosmos mirrors the Five Elements, therefore each color represents or is associated with a symbolic meaning. Our Boulder showroom is temporarily closed. 花, hé huā) is known as the gentleman’s flower because it grows out from the mud, pure and unstained. Every single one of us wishes for a long, healthy life and this is how the Chinese symbol “寿 – shòu” become a very meaningful gift/ decoration for the Chinese people. But without understanding the floriography—the meanings associated with certain flowers—the symbolism and thus underlying message could go over your head. 'joy'), can be repeated to form the character 囍 ( pinyin : shuāng xǐ ; Cantonese Yale : sēung héi ; lit. Having spent some time in China and surrounding nations where the Chinese have historically had a major influence, I’ve noticed a recurring motif in the swirling, stylised representation of clouds appearing everywhere from jewellery to the 2008 Beijing Olympics torch. Pixiu è²”è² China is a country rich with heritage, and uses colors symbolically within every ceremony, festival, and ritual. 双-shuāng means double and 喜 – xǐ means joy or happiness. bats, five - Five Blessings (a long life, riches, health, love of virtue and a natural death) Bear (熊 - xióng), panda (熊猫 - xióngmāo) - … Moreover, the calligraphy of 寿 – shòu is very nice. Together, these aspects form the integrated whole of the Five Element Theory. It is associated with death and is used predominantly in funerals in Chinese culture. It represents the character of moral integrity, resistance, modesty and loyalty. In traditional Chinese culture, bamboo is a symbol of Oriental beauty. People usually use this Chinese symbol on the wedding with a meaning that two families unite and doubling the happiness. One of the widely told tales will be about a boy who only has a life span of 19 years. This is the ultimate good luck character in the Chinese language. At a Chinese wedding, chicken's feet (sometimes referred to as phoenix feet) are … There is also another interesting sweet love story behind this tradition. Silk is a clothing material, and feature with softness and lightness. Jade Green — Yu Se (玉色) Anyway, the legend says every person’s life span is determined after we were born. Here are some animals that are noted for their symbolism in Chinese art: Animal Ant Ao Badger Bat Bear Bee Butterfly Carp Cat Centipede Cicada Crab Deer Dog Donkey Dragon Dragonfly Elephant Fish Fox Gecko Glow worm Hare Horse Lion Monkey Ox Panther Pig Rat Rhinoceros Sheep Snake Spider Tiger Toad Tortoise Unicorn Wolf Ant 蚂蚁 mǎ yǐ Here’s a tip, next time when you get invited to Chinese birthday party, you can give them something with 寿 – shòu symbol, 寿 – shòu as a decorative symbol for birthdays. , representing destruction, evil, cruelty, sadness and suffering good meanings meaning that two families unite doubling. 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( God of career achievement “ lù star ) things if you don ’ t know the meanings the... So joyful to see such a good matching poem that he was furious you no! Wings stretched out and one leg raised up has the symbol of Oriental.. 礻- shì ” means ( the gift from ) the God and him.