One need not be a designer to have a special relationship with colors. Everyone has a favorite and in many cases, their culture also plays a significant role when it comes to associating symbolic or hidden meanings with different colors. The same is true in Chinese culture. A country with a rich heritage; China uses colors symbolically within every ritual, ceremony, festival and, lately, even in business. In fact; compared to the West, China has a surprisingly different and more powerful color symbolism.
Just as the Five Elements Theory of Metal, Fire, Water, Wood and Air play an important role in influencing many of the Chinese beliefs and customs, the color theory is also based on the 5 elements. Hence five of the most popular colors in China also corresponded to these 5 Elements namely:. As is evident, China is a vast country with multitude of facets. While one must certainly use freedom and creativity in their use of colors especially when marketing in this country; one should also be extra careful in order to avoid pitfalls posed by the use of certain colors with negative connotations.
Jacob is the founder of Color Meanings, a blog about color symbolism and design. He is a world-renowned color expert and a recognized leader in understanding how colors affect human emotion and behavior.Homophones and homonyms list
Let us study what different colors mean in Chinese culture. It symbolizes luck, happiness and joy. It also represents summer season and the Southern Direction. It is the color worn by brides, since it is believed to be an auspicious color for warding off evil. Red also represents vitality, celebration and fertility in traditional Chinese color symbolism. However, this is definitely not the case since ancient Chinese roots certainly did not factor in the revolution for it.
If you are doing business in China, make use of bit of red in marketing, but not too much.
It mainly represents late summer and central direction. Today, yellow is symbolic of pornography in publications in China. So, do be careful when using yellow, particularly for brand marketing.Subasinghe construction galle vacancies
Black color in Chinese culture is associated with destruction, evil, profundity, disasters, cruelty, sadness and suffering. It is bad fortune and must not be worn to auspicious occasions like weddings.
Avoid using black in your brand marketing. However, in some instances, it is associated with death and is the color worn at funerals. Today, white is a popular color in cars in China and along with black is used widely for making consumer goods such as watches, cells phones, clothes etc.
Be judicious in using white in marketing and avoid wrapping presents in White paper when gifting them to someone. Blue can be used quite liberally in case of marketing product or service. Other traditional Chinese colors and what they represent Gold — Like in Western culture, Gold also symbolizes wealth and riches in China.
One can easily use it and related colors in their marketing materials though too much of it could make things a bit gaudy and even cheap-looking. Green — There is not much difference in between Western Symbolism associated with Green and that of it in Chinese traditions.
Green is also used to describe organic things for example, Green Milk means organic or toxin free milk and Green vegetables mean ones without pesticides. Thus, green should be used carefully as it could symbolize something totally different. 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.Discord bot maker download
Younger consumers are highly attracted to Purple when it is used in brands and for marketing. Multiple colors or Rainbow colors — The Chinese rarely use multiple colors since the rainbow seen in the sky was taken as a sign that the Emperor would die soon. The Complete Guide to Color Meanings.During the time of the Yellow Emperor, about 5, years ago, Chinese society advocated single colors. Confucius, a philosopher and educator at the end of the Spring-Autumn period, in his effort to uphold the "Rites of the Zhou Dynasty," defined black, red, cyan blue-greenwhite, and yellow as the "pure colors" and "superior colors.
The ancient Chinese believed that the five elements were the fundamental elements that created all things in nature; they were the origin of everything, including colors, and were inseparably related to the principle of five elements in the operation of heavenly laws. They also chose the color of their clothing according to the natural change of seasons and the theory of the five elements. The emperors in the Han Dynasties believed that, after the Han took over from the Qin Dynasty, it symbolized the virtue of earth.
According to the theory of five elements, the earth overcame water, and the earth was yellow, so yellow was very popular in the Han Dynasty. At that time, the horoscope fortune tellers also combined the theory of five elements and the concept of five dimensions in the horoscope, and believed that the color yellow stood for earth, symbolizing the center of the universe; cyan stood for wood, symbolizing the east; red stood for fire, symbolizing the south; white stood for metal, symbolizing the west; and the color black stood for water, symbolizing the north.
Because the color yellow was in the middle of the five elements, it was viewed as a neutral color and came first of all colors. It was also viewed as the most noble color, a color for the clothing of emperors. The prime minister of the court at that time was granted a "gold seal with a purple silk ribbon. This was how the colors yellow and purple gained their important places in Chinese traditional culture. In the Tang Dynasty, yellow was widely used in traditional culture and arts.
In the Dunhuang Caves, there are over 10, precious frescoes, covering a total area of over 50, square meters. The frescoes from different time periods vary in color. For example, the frescoes done in the Northern Wei period are mainly red-brown, accompanied by blue and black.
From the Tang Dynasty onward, yellow became more popular, and these frescoes are diverse and charming, bright and gorgeous--a brilliant page in the frescoes of the Dunhuang Caves. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Beijing became the capital city, and the color yellow became the exclusive color for the imperial family. Ordinary people were not allowed to wear yellow. The emperors wore "yellow robes," their carriage was called a "yellow carriage," the path they walked on was called a "yellow path," the flags used on their tours were "yellow flags," and the wrapping material for their seals was also yellow.
___ Symbolism of Colors, Asscociations of The Five Elements in Chinese Beliefs and Feng Shui
Consequently, the color yellow became a symbol of supreme power. Only the imperial family members and their relatives could live in residences with red walls and yellow-colored glazed tile roofs.
Ordinary people could only use cyan-colored bricks and tiles. If you climb up to the top of Jingshan and overlook the forbidden city, you can see a stretch of yellow glazed tile roofs. On both sides of the halls, front and back, there are huge, gold-plated bronze vats and animal figures.Colors are important to Chinese culture as they are endowed with lucky meanings.
The three main lucky colors considered lucky in people's daily lives as well as on special occasions are red, yellow, and green. We have also covered color combinations preferred in China. Lastly, we have provided some insight into unlucky colors for your awareness. Red represents fire and is the most popular color in China. It is also the national color representing happiness, beauty, vitality, good luck, success and good fortune.
Red is famously popular in relation to anything Chinese and is widely used during festivals and important events like weddings. Red lanterns adorn businesses and residences. Double rows of red "Xi" happiness letters are pasted on gates and doors. People wear red during weddings, festivals and other celebratory events. Red envelopes are stuffed with money and given as gifts during Chinese New Year. The first Emperor of China was known as the Yellow Emperor.
China was often referred to as 'Yellow Earth', and its mother river is the Yellow River. This is the most important color from an ancient perspective. During the Song Dynastyyellow glazed tiles were used to build imperial palaces. During Ming and Qing Dynasties, emperors were dressed in yellow imperial robes.
They rode in "yellow palace" carriages and traveled on "yellow paths". Official flags were yellow. Official seals were packaged in yellow fabric. Overlooking the Forbidden City from Beijing Jing Mountain, one can see a sea of yellow glazed tile roofs. Gilded copper urns and animals adorn many palaces.Funzione minimo in python
In Chinese Buddhism, yellow is associated with freedom from material needs and monks wear yellow robes. Green is the color of wealth, fertility, regeneration, hope, harmony and growth.
Green also represents pure and clean. Buildings, banks and restaurants are often painted in green. Packaging for milk or produce is often in green to indicate that the product is contamination free. In Chinese Five Elements Theorya traditional philosophy about natural interactions used in fengshui etc.
Blue is usually seen in combination with green or black. Blue can represent wood and symbolizes spring and brings a positive meaning. Blue stands for healing, trust and long life.What is the meaning of yellow? Is it the cheerful daffodil, the harbinger of spring? Is it our life-giving sun, ball of warmth and light? Or is it the color of jaundice, of illness? Sunny yellows are cheerful hues, the color of warmth and spring daffodils.
So why, then, do we have so many negative associations with the color yellow? Yellow is absolutely invigorating. It stimulates our nerves, glands, and brain, making us more alert and energized. Yellow boosts our memory, and it encourages communication. All the world over, yellow is associated with the sun and its life-giving warmth. Yellow is optimism and the cheerfulness of a sunny day.
We associate yellow with warmth, sunshine, and positivity. Bright yellow is an attention-getter, and its contrast with black is the most visible color combination. Despite its association with cheerfulness and warmth, yellow carries a surprising number of negative connotations. Yellow is a symbol of cowardice, of sickness, and of mental illness.
Vibrant yellow is typically used with caution by designers, though paler yellows can certainly have a modest uplifting effect. Too much bright yellow can easily overwhelm a project.
Chakras are energy centers within the body that help to regulate all its processes. Each chakra governs specific functions and is represented by one of the seven chakra colors. Yellow : The color of the Solar Plexus chakra, also known as Manipura. This chakra is located in the stomach area and is linked to organs and muscular system in that area. The Solar Plexus chakra is representative of vitality and will.Historically, people actually worshipped the color yellow during the reign of the legendary Chinese sage king, a chief deity of Taoism, Huang Di or Huang Ti, better known as the Yellow Emperor.
He is the emperor that is said to be the ancestor of all Han Chinese people and is believed to have reigned around BC to BC. The emperor himself is said to have helped Fuxi to create the Chinese Calendar. According to the Five Elements Theory, the color yellow belongs to the element earth, represented through the direction center or zenith, a stabilizing energy, a balanced ying- yang. The associated grain is rice which ripens in the yellow earth and as food stabilizes mankind.
The color yellow characterizes the center of a bagua chart. Below a brief list of associations. Such a mixture of a colors can lead to a combined interpretation. Throughout the years, and even today, colors are very important to the existence of the Chinese people. Today: 1. Yellow is still reserved for royalty. Clothing and objects that are yellow in color still resemble a higher social status.
Although each dynasty designated each official rank with their own color, yellow is reserved or the emperor himself. The color yellow and its shades are also the main color of Buddhism; thus it represents being free from worldly cares.
Red is still used for happiness and joy. In fact, after the Ming Dynasty, only the Emperor's close relatives could have homes with red walls and yellow roof tiles. Peasants could only live in homes made with blue bricks and roof tiles.
Today though, most houses are made of black tiles and white walls. Blue-green is still a symbol of spring when everything is filled with vigor and vitality. Therefore, someone that is hoping for longevity and harmony will decorate with blue-green colors.
White is a symbol of the unknown and purity. The color white is used during the time of mourning, death, and during ghost festivals. Therefore Chinese people will wear white during a funeral or while summoning ghosts.Earn gift cards for amazon
Black is used as the symbol of winter and the westerly skies which behold the heavens. It is used for times of the unknown and for the winter months. In Chinese believes, the cosmos mirrors the Five Elements, therefore each color represents or is associated with a symbolic meaning. The Five Element Chart shows associated properties or aspects of each element. Together, these aspects form the integrated whole of the Five Element Theory.
Feng Shui incorporated the Five Elements while being based on the bagua. Hence, the bagua represents not only all elements, but the cosmos. One World - Nations Online.Three colors are particularly interesting: red, which could be considered the Chinese national color, and the pairing of black and white, which makes one of the most well-known symbols in Chinese cultures, the Dao. What meaning do these and other colors have for the Chinese?
In Chinese tradition, red is also the color of marriage. Socialist and revolutionary tradition, which insists a lot on the symbolism and unifying value of this color, has used red as their flag and sign of recognition.
White also seems to be, in a certain sense, the opposite of red: where red brings gain and profit, and white indicates loss, waste. Aldo Terminiellohas been writing and drawing since he was little and has done so for one year in Kunming, China where he finished his degrees in Chinese and English.
The story of that year, transformed into a graphic novel, is being published on its website QinAode. He translates, illustrates and teaches English and Chinese depending on the case. Your email address will not be published.Colors and Chinese Culture
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Start Here! We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.
If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Ok Read more.It was generally used alone and often implied sexual desire or desirability. These colors correspond to the five elements of water, fire, wood, metal and earth, taught in traditional Chinese physics. Yellow of a golden hue, corresponding with earth, is considered the most beautiful and prestigious color.
Associated with but ranked above brown, yellow signifies neutrality and good luck. Yellow is sometimes paired with red in place of gold.
Color in Chinese culture
The Yellow River is the cradle of Chinese civilisation. Yellow was the emperor's color in Imperial China and is held as the symbolic color of the five legendary emperors of ancient China, such as the Yellow Emperor. The Yellow Dragon is the zoomorphic incarnation of the Yellow Emperor of the centre of the universe in Chinese religion and mythology.
The Flag of the Qing dynasty featured golden yellow as the background. Yellow often decorates royal palaces, altars and temples, and the color was used in the dragon robes and attire of the emperors. Yellow also represents freedom from worldly cares and is thus esteemed in Buddhism. Monks' garments are yellow, as are elements of Buddhist temples. Yellow is also used as a mourning color for Chinese Buddhists. Yellow is also symbolic of heroism, as opposed to the Western association of the color with cowardice.
A Peking glass vase in Imperial Yellow, a shade of yellow so named for the banner of the Qing Dynasty. Black, corresponding to water, is a neutral color. The saying "heaven and earth of black" was rooted in the observation that the northern sky was black for a long time.
In astrology it is represented by the Black Tortoise. The Taiji symbol uses black and white to represent the unity of yin and yang.
Ancient Chinese people regarded black as the king of colors and honored black more consistently than any other color.
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