Chinese Symbol For Longevity
Chinese Symbol for Longevity
Meaning and Perspectives
The Chinese are incredibly skilled at assigning deeper meanings to various symbols to represent a condition or energy. Walking through their country is a true education on Chinese symbols.
Among the myriad of symbols, the Chinese symbol(s) for longevity are widespread and quite intriguing.
For example, would you ever think of a gourd to represent long life? In the Chinese culture it is, and is used in the art of Feng Shui extensively.
A long, healthy, prosperous life is one of the most admirable and highest goals of humanity. It only makes sense that the Chinese along with so many other cultures would establish many symbols to represent the facets of longevity.
You can find the perfect Chinese symbol for longevity that best fits your needs below. I hope you enjoy them. You can also find more Chinese symbols and their meaning here.
Other Common Chinese Symbols for Longevity
Bamboo: Bamboo is a Chinese symbol for longevity because of its durability, strength, flexibility and resilience. It survives in the harshest conditions, and seems to endure through all the brutalities mother nature can dish out – still standing tall, and staying green year-round. Its flexibility and adaptability are a lesson to us all that the secret of a long happy life is to go with the flow. Feng Shui practitioners recommend putting bamboo plants in the front of your home to assure long life for all those who dwell there.
Cicada: In Ancient China, before burying their deceased loved ones, wealthy families would insert a jade carving of the cicada inside their mouth. It was believed this would assure the deceased would have a joyful life after death, and would immortalize them after their passing. The cicada is also revered by the living and signifies eternal youth and happiness. As the cicada is one of the longest living insect, it’s no wonder this is a long-standing Chinese symbol for longevity. Learn more about cicada symbolic meaning here.
Crane: There are four types of cranes in Chinese myth: White, yellow, blue and black. The black crane is thought to live the longest – up to 600 years. When a crane is shown among clouds it stands for longevity, wisdom and nobility.
When shown among pine trees, the crane symbolizes determination, wealth and power. When two cranes are shown together, it is the ultimate depiction of longevity. The Chinese Phoenix is also a powerful bird symbol.
Deer: Known for its endurance, grace, and long life, the deer is another Chinese symbol for longevity. The word for deer in Chinese is lu which translates to mean income. Consequently, the combined meanings represent a prosperous long life. In Chinese art the deer is depicted with court officials; it is said that this signifies a wish for fame, recognition and a long, successful career. Find more symbolic deer meanings here.
Gourd: Specifically the bottle gourd is also a common Chinese symbol for longevity as well as good luck. It is thought that the gourd holds magic nectar which is consumed by many Buddhist deities. Sau, the Chinese god of longevity brandishes the gourd at the end of his staff, this is said to contain the elixir of immortality. Gourds are painted with the Chinese symbol for longevityand then displayed in the home to ward off harmful energies – thus promoting long life.
God of Longevity: Known as Sau, this Chinese god is one of the most popular. This is because he is a symbol of the easy life, smooth living, and victory over the strife that life can sometimes cause. A gourd is attached to the end of his staff which is said to hold the elixir of life or immortality. Sau is usually depicted holding a peach, which is the divine fruit of the gods, allowing them to live forever. You’ll note Sau is usually sitting on a deer, another symbol for longevity.
Peach: The peach tree is a tremendous Chinese symbol for longevity as well as other auspicious attributes. Each element of the peach tree has significant meaning. The wood of the tree was said to ward off evil, and ancient warriors would craft weapons from the wood. Taoist magic was made with the petals of the peach blossoms – the effects were known to put men into an intense trance of love. It is said that the Peach plant of immortality located in the Kun Lun mountains would produce the fruit only once every 3,000 years. When this happened, the Eight Immortals would gather and eat of the magic fruit, assuring their immortality.
Pine: Because of their endurance, and steadfastness even in the most harsh weather conditions, the pine trees are honored Chinese symbols for long life. The pine is often depicted in Chinese art with other symbols of longevity such as the peach, the god Sau, deer, and also mentioned in the tales of the Eight Immortals. Having pine trees on your property is said to be highly auspicious. Take care to always keep these healthy as they will assure long happy lives for you and all those who live upon your property.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.
Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality.
Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”~Lao Tzu
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