Each year of the Chinese New Year is represented by an animal and each symbol has its own importance according to the customs and traditions. 5. This is the color of a type of cyan lotus, which is the symbol of decent, honorable people. Read More. There are five primary colors in Chinese history, based on the theory of Yin-Yang and Five Elements. Orange 橙色 (sè lèi) a lively and happy color, reminiscent of autumn and plentiful harvests. Since the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC— 256 BC), people started to use pure white in mourning apparel, which is still an important tradition today. When a person one-hearted loves another, the lifelong lovesickness will gradually turn one’s hair to the Affectionate Grey. Chinese Art — Aesthetic, Characteristic, and Form, Chinese Architecture — Tradition, Characteristic and Style, Chinese Costume, Lucky Patterns and the Strict Hierarchy in the History, Valuable Pieces of Jewelry and Their Historical, Cultural Meanings, Beautiful, Exquisite Traditional Chinese Hair Ornaments, Delicate Pendant Accessories in the History of China, Traditional Love Token — Represent of Romance and Affection, Chinese Zodiac Signs — A Comprehensive Introduction​, Chinese Astrology — Three Enclosures, Four Symbols, Twenty-eight Lunar Mansions, Tradition of China — Festival and Important Ceremonies, Fun Facts about Chinese Culture and History, Pomegranate Flower Red — Shi Liu Hong (石榴红). Green-colored jade jewelry has been popular throughout Chinese history among those who could afford it. This is the color of gosling’s hair, cute, tranquil, and pure. As you can see, colors and their cultural meanings are far from being fixed but may vary depending on the culture and time period as well. Here’s a handy trick: You can pair 深 (shēn) “dark” or 浅 (qiǎn) “light” with any color hue to describe varying intensities of that color. You’ve added a whole host of new words to your Chinese vocabulary bank. And now, on to our mega list of colors! For many years, pink was an unrecognized color in China until it emerged into the culture due to increasing Western influences—the Chinese word for it translates as "foreign color." The last color is yellow as a symbol of earth. It’s also a happy color signifying inspiration and vitality. White envelopes are never used because white is associated with death. It was generally used alone and often implied sexual desire or desirability. FluentU has a wide range of contemporary videos—like dramas, TV shows, commercials and music videos. The Cinnabar Red, which had been used to color or directly write inscriptions on bones of the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC — 1046 BC), became one of the most orthodox colors in Chinese culture after the Han Dynasty was established by Emperor Liu Bang, who was believed the descendant of Emperor Yan (or the King of the Fire). White is not considered a lucky color. Black is used as the symbol of winter … This is believed the color of the sky, when the sun is about to rise or after sunset. Brown is an earthy and warm color. (Download). Blue/Green is the color of growth and vegetation and so life itself. © 2020 Enux Education Limited. purple. This is the color of flush on cheeks after someone has drunk wine. All words have carefully written definitions and examples that will help you understand how a word is used. It is a popular choice for both home furnishings and fashion in Chinese culture. Round 3000 years ago, five types of herbals were used to dye fabric into dark blue. To non-Chinese, the color red reminds people of fire and blood. FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons. FluentU naturally eases you into learning Chinese language. If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Chinese with real-world videos. Therefore, this is the color of romantic love. This color then is the representative of innocent love. The Chinese word for color, "yan se," originally meant "color of the face." Great Poet Li Bai of the Tang Dynasty styled himself as the Cyan Lotus. During the Tang Dynasty, the word yánsè came to mean all color. Though this color is named after the amber, it also had been widely used to refer to wine in ancient Chinese literature. Hundreds of years later, in Yuan (1271 — 1368) and Ming (1368 — 1644) Dynasty, prostitutes and their families were regulated to wear green. Meaning of Colors Used in Masks many colors are used in any given chinese mask, but the dominant colors impart specific characteristics. Gradually, civilians were no longer allowed to use it, except for Buddhism and Taoism religion. Color of the rice, a common food in China. It’s inspired by Guan Yu, a general famed for his loyalty to his emperor Liu Bei. As one of the Five Primary Colors, it represents Wood in the Five Elements. Gradually, it is also used to describe the charming shy blush of women. The significance of the color red in Chinese culture. It’s a lively and fresh color. As one of the Five Primary Colors, it represents Water in the Five Elements. Red 红色 (hóng sè) is a prominent color in Chinese culture. The use of colors is mostly free, except for some Taboos on certain occasions. The Manchu dynasty has yellow as its official color. Traditional Chinese colors were named using beautiful creatures. While red is probably the most popular color, ancient Chinese people considered black the king of colors. red can also mean prosperity, loyalty, courage and heroism. Bright yellow mixes with dark green, combined with the fragrance of leaves and grass, together they formed a picture of beautiful autumn. An auspicious (lucky) color, it’s associated with holidays like Chinese New Year, as well as weddings. A color worn by ancient Chinese emperors, it represents riches and power. Yan Zhi has been a popular cosmetic in ancient China, which was made of beautiful flowers and creamy grease. The color also denotes the Communist Revolution and the blood of the individuals who lost their lives in the course of the Japanese invasion and the civil war. It is also the color of Zhu Que, a mythical red bird that is guarding in the south section of the sky, who could guide souls of the deceased to heaven. The verb 明白 (míngbai) which means “to understand”, literally means “clear white”: another meaning of this color is, in fact, “understandable, clear”. We use cookies to improve your experience on this website and so that ads you see online can be tailored to your online browsing interests. If you want continue learning Chinese with interactive and authentic Chinese content, then you'll love FluentU. FluentU brings Chinese to life with real-world videos. Click here to get a copy. There is a deep meaning associated with each symbol. Even if it’s not always conscious, these old meanings of … Lotus is also the Lucky Flower of July in Traditional Chinese Calendar. As one of the Five Primary Colors, it represents Fire in the Five Elements. This is the color of the root of lotus, grey mixes with red. Red is the traditional color worn by Chinese brides, as it is believed to ward off evil. Below we will explain the significance of a few colors in Chinese culture: First, something you'll no doubt immediately notice with any exposure to the culture, Chinese people like the color red very much. It is the Chinese belief that by filling their lives with lucky objects and images, they increase prosperity and happy circumstances, making their existence joyful and fulfilling. Green Jade is the representative of gentleness and decency throughout Chinese history. Emperor Li Longji once compared his beloved Yang Yuhuan as a stunningly beautiful Begonia. Red - Fire. FluentU is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Gradually, Daylily became the representative of a mother’s love for her children. The color indicates courage, devotion, bravery, and loyalty. Written and Photographed by Mark Parren Taylor. Modern Chinese uses 褐色 hèsè ('the color of unbleached cloth') as the most common translation of the English word 'brown' but unfortunately, can also mean a dirty grey color to some people. The producing formula had been kept as top secret, and got disappeared later. This is the color of the sky before dawn, mysterious black mixes with warm yellow. It’s also related to festivity. In China colors don't have the same meaning as in the west. All Rights Reserved. Since the Tang Dynasty (618 — 907), wearing a green headcloth was a penalty for people who had committed crimes. Black is the color of illness, death and criminality. Yellow is reserved for the Emperor, it is the color of royalty.Later, it took very different meaning as yellow is also the color of sex and pornography. This is the color of bright, clear sky, especially after a snow or rain. red shows intelligence and bravery. used on masks indicates a positive character. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you're learning. The traditions and culture of the Chinese people are the subjects of so many studies and understanding by a lot of … Each individual color holds a special meaning in Chinese culture. Zhao Ji, the Emperor Huizong of the Song Dynasty, dreamt about a beautiful view of the sky having been washed by the rainfall. Meaning: A color between black and white; Alternative Spellings & Variations: Grey, Grai, Graye Famous Namesakes: Former governor of California Gray Davis, photographer Gray Malin; Peak Popularity: Gray was a top 1,000 name for boys at the turn of the 20th century. Red serves as a traditional color of the Chinese society. There are similarities in the meanings from one… Native Chinese content comes within reach, and you'll learn Chinese as it's spoken in real life. Hence, little blue is also included in the Willow Bud Color. Yellow - Yellow is the color of earth, the change of the seasons, and the center. The color of crow’s feather, black mixes with light cyan. This color, very important in Chinese symbolism, represents glory, wisdom, harmony, happiness, culture. It was worn as the color of mourning when someone died. Chinese have developed a rich culture around the use of color, especially in language. This is the refreshing and vigorous color of willow bud, fresh yellow mixes with light green. It is also the color of Dragon Ying Long, who guards in the middle section of the sky and had assisted some kings in defeating monsters in Chinese Mythology. To further grow your vocabulary, both color-related and otherwise, check out the colorful learning options on FluentU. Green 绿色 (lǜ sè) is a color representing nature and new growth. For example, to be “green faced” in Chinese is to be sick, and to “wear a green hat” is to be cheated on by your wife. As one of the Five Primary Colors, it represents Earth in the Five Elements. It can also represent goodness and purity. On big holidays like Spring Festival, or happy occasions like weddings, it is always better not to wear all white nor black to attend. FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. It hasn't been in the top 1,000 since. Orange exudes warmth and joy and is considered a fun color that provides emotional strength. In Traditional Chinese Calendar, February’s lucky Flower is the Apricot Flower, while it’s Flower Goddess is Lady Yang Yuhuan of the Tang Dynasty. Afterward, writing love poems using her exquisite paper became quite popular among noblewomen. Orange Color Meaning The color of enthusiasm and emotion. You have a 100% personalized experience. Colors and Their Meanings in Chinese Culture. Colors hold a lot of meaning in China, and traditionally could show a lot about a person's background or symbolize special holidays and events. Colors are usually among the first vocabulary you learn in a foreign language. Be my Patreon: ... Why Chinese love the color red | CCTV English - Duration: 4:47. White 白色 (bái sè) can connote a sense of superiority. He then commanded talented artists to try to make pottery out of this color, the blue sky after dark clouds are dispersed. Wrapping gifts using white paper is not totally taboo, however, other colors are always much more welcome and acceptable. Read More. 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). Learning Chinese becomes fun and easy when you learn with movie trailers, music videos, news and inspiring talks. The color of scallion sometimes is used to describe beautiful filed, filled with green, vigorous plants. Therefore, now it is still a tradition to not to write people’s names using red-colored pens. It represents strength, vitality and energy. In Feng Shui, many flowers are utilized for good fortune and success.This is because, in general, healthy flowering plants manifest good Chi, or energy. However, there are not many expressions or idioms that include brown. No country is as deeply associated with one color as China is with red. We also participate in other affiliate advertising programs for products and services we believe in. But in the western counties, it has the meaning of violence and anger. This is the color of splendid sunrise in the morning, or red ore, or some Elixirs of Taoism Religion. Well in China, there are meanings to every color. I hope you enjoyed this lesson! Therefore, in traditional Chinese culture, people don’t normally wear white accessories in their hair or give white flowers as gifts, because of the association with mourning. It is also the color of White Tiger, a mythical creature guarding in the west section of … Purple is a mysterious, honorable color in Chinese culture, which is used to describe the magical aura of deities, or royal palace and goods. Daylily has another name in Chinese, Forgetting of Sadness. 浅桔黄 (qiǎn jú huáng) = light tangerine yellow. The bud of the lotus flower is warm pinkish combines light purple, one of the beautiful views in early summer. Until in recent decades, 14 beautiful Secret Porcelains were unearthed in the underground palace of the royal Famen Temple. Peach Blossom is the Lucky Flower of March in Traditional Chinese Calendar and is the representative of love, beauty, and spring. That is the Chinese word for color. Read More. And in general, pink is said to be mentally stimulating, reduce violent behavior, and make people feel calmer and more controlled, which is why many prison holding cells are painted this color. Did we cover all the colors? Flower of the Smoke Tree looks like a soft feather or ethereal fog, therefore, the color of the tree is named the Smoke Tree Yellow. It is also the color of Cyan Dragon, a mythical animal guarding in the Eastern section of the sky, as the representative of hope and spring. Here are special and miscellaneous colors, some from popular fashion, that you can add to your vocabulary. However, today, it is associated with destruction, evil, disasters, and cruelty. CCTV English Recommended for you. Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you Now in people’s weddings, birthdays, or important festivals, sending money is a convenient and popular way among families and friends. White by itself is a funeral color. A Chinese idiom which is used to describe many colors, Wǔyánliùs… Nowadays, the color symbolism in Chinese culture is way less strict. The willow tree has the same pronunciation in Chinese as the “stay”, therefore, snapping and giving a willow twig used to be an important rite when seeing good friends off. The below list is organized into color families, and includes descriptions, varieties and expressions related to each color. The Chinese zodiac or sheng xiao is basically a repeating cycle of 12 years.