From The Bench

Getting Started with Chinese Good Luck Symbols

Every culture has symbols people believe would bring them luck in their search for unique “lucky charms.” Take, for example, so many lucky Chinese coins in the market. People buy them and use them with the explicit purpose of wanting to attract better fortune.

The History of Chinese Good Luck Symbols

Chinese good luck symbols can be found in almost every make and model, including lucky coins. In addition, most old Chinese coins feature a four-character inscription to specify the historical period of their minting and monetary value.

Most Chinese charms also include four or more Chinese character inscriptions, although they aren’t used to indicate the charm’s manufacture date or monetary value (none). Instead, the inscription expresses either an auspicious wish—for example, good luck, good fortune, good health, success in business, or imperial examinations—or a desire to ward off evil ghosts and spirits.

The majority of Chinese charms also feature a variety of things intended to enrich the inscriptions with deep symbolic meanings, which is more significant and different from Chinese coins.

The Chinese language has a relatively large number of written characters, but a considerably lower number of spoken sounds is one of its peculiarities. Consequently, a lot of Chinese characters have similar pronunciations. Due to their similar pronunciation, the charms may substitute pictures of animals, plants, and other objects for other words, even if they have no connection to the represented ideas.

Examples of Lucky Things and Symbols in China

The Color Red

Chinese culture views red as a nice, bright color, making them a part of Chinese good luck symbols. The fire element, which stands for life, vitality, and light, is related to the color red. Red is a color associated with happiness, success, and good fortune since it is so favorably perceived. The color’s significance has not altered much over time, but special occasions like weddings and festivals are when it is most frequently seen. Red is the color of choice for Chinese wedding attire! Red is such a happy hue that it is wrong to wear it to a funeral.

The Tortoise

Many turtle myths originate in Eastern Asia. In historical documents, “turtle” is frequently used to describe tortoises and turtles. For those in the Far East, the turtle came to represent both heaven and earth. These people saw the flat bottom of the turtle as the earth and the turtle’s shell as the sky.

It is said that the turtle’s shell is what makes them able to survive for so long. It is also believed that the earth is perched atop a turtle, whose shell has the imprints of heaven, earth, and the universe’s roof. Chinese folklore claims that the wisdom of heaven and earth is contained within the flesh of this animal. Tortoise shells were employed in ceremonies to predict the future during China’s Shang era (1766–1122 BC). Specific creatures, such as a turtle with a dragon’s head, are spliced with the sign to augment its power.

The turtle is one of the Four Auspicious Beasts, making them a perfect addition to Chinese good luck symbols.

Being one of the oldest living things, it is regarded as a symbol of wisdom, tenacity, wealth, and longevity. Moreover, Chinese civilization thought these animals possessed magical powers because they could go nearly a year without eating and hardly ever get sick.

The Black Warrior or Black Tortoise, a turtle with a snake coiled around it, represents the Northern Constellation. As a result, turtle statues or motifs are frequently found in Chinese homes. It is thought that a single turtle figure or picture will provide wealth, prosperity, and support to the family.

The Dragon

We know dragons are frequently represented as vile, ferocious, and terrible monsters in western nations.

Dragons are frequently shown as “villains” that aim to harm people by breathing fire on them in western films and art. Dragons, however, are wholly viewed oppositely in Chinese culture.

The Chinese people respect dragons and believe they are descended from them, as evidenced by the traditional Chinese song “The Heirs of the Dragon.” In Chinese tradition, dragons stand for the highest levels of royal power, riches, and good fortune. It was said that the Chinese Emperors of old were dragon sons.

The fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac is the Dragon. The Dragon symbolizes luck, power, health, and the Yang male element in Chinese culture. The Dragon stands out from the other animals in the Chinese zodiac because it is the only legendary animal, and more infants are born in the year of the Dragon than any other animal. Many other civilizations, including Western ones, view the Dragon as representing evil and darkness. However, the Dragon is seen as a representation of imperial strength and authority in China.

People born in the year of the Dragon tend to be charismatic, clever, self-assured, decisive, lucky by nature, and gifted. They typically have high expectations and do their most complex in all they do.

Chinese culture associates dragons with strength, fortune, and enormous power. They stand for strength and control, notably over typhoons, water, precipitation, and floods. The dragons were thought to have been the ancestors of emperors. The Dragon is the most well-known of the twelve zodiac signs.

The Dragon is a crucial figure in Chinese culture. You will notice the Dragon in photos, festivals, and the characters that draw their meanings and sounds from the Dragon if you are interested in Chinese culture and read books or study Chinese with applications. To comprehend why the Dragon is so important to the Chinese, it is imperative to comprehend the culture of the language. The Chinese Zodiac, which consists of twelve years and twelve different creatures with matching personality traits, includes dragons. Among them are a mouse, a dragon, a dog, a tiger, a horse, a goat, an ox, a pig, a monkey, a rooster, a snake, and a rabbit.

The Chinese consider the Dragon to represent strength and courage, excellence and tenacity, dignity and divinity. A dragon is thought to be able to overcome difficulties and achieve success. He is vivacious, assured, energetic, innovative, and focused. They are a symbol of affluence and aristocracy. In the past, Chinese emperors were considered powerful dragons’ reincarnations. The founder of the Han dynasty, Liu Bang, believed he was persuaded after his mother had a dragon dream. A history book claims that the Dragon was the Tang Dynasty’s imperial emblem. The robes worn by the emperor and top officials featured dragons. Some dragons belonged only to the emperor.

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