the kylin the kylin is an auspicious, imaginary animal. The appearance of a kylin is thought to be an omen of great import; kylin often appear as an auspicious design on ornamental objects. It is known as a benevolent animal because it did not kill insects or even damage blades of grass.

the kylin

the kylin is an auspicious, imaginary animal. The appearance of a kylin is thought to be an omen of great import; kylin often appear as an auspicious design on ornamental objects. It is known as a benevolent animal because it did not kill insects or even damage blades of grass.

chinese red Chinese red, or vermilion, has been regarded as the color of life in Asia since ancient times. It is used to paint temples, furniture, the carriages of the Emperor, and lacquerware.  The lacquer initially came from the Chinese lacquer tree, or Toxicodendron vernicifluum. The resin of the tree, called urushiol, was caustic, and caused a reaction similar to poison ivy. Painted on wood, it hardened into a natural, very hard surface. The pure sap was dark brown. About the 3rd century BC, artisans began coloring the sap with powdered cinnabar or with red ochre (ferric oxide), giving the sap a red-orange tint.  A synthetic vermilion, made from mercury and sulfur, was much cheaper, and allowed large scale production of Chinese lacquerware starting in the 8th century BC. 

chinese red

Chinese red, or vermilion, has been regarded as the color of life in Asia since ancient times. It is used to paint temples, furniture, the carriages of the Emperor, and lacquerware. 

The lacquer initially came from the Chinese lacquer tree, or Toxicodendron vernicifluum. The resin of the tree, called urushiol, was caustic, and caused a reaction similar to poison ivy. Painted on wood, it hardened into a natural, very hard surface. The pure sap was dark brown. About the 3rd century BC, artisans began coloring the sap with powdered cinnabar or with red ochre (ferric oxide), giving the sap a red-orange tint.  A synthetic vermilion, made from mercury and sulfur, was much cheaper, and allowed large scale production of Chinese lacquerware starting in the 8th century BC. 

peach and peach wood The peach and peach wood confer longevity. Peach flowers were said to cure various diseases when picked in the proper manner. Peach wood is said to be the essence of all trees and can overpower evil.  Charms are made by painting celestial beings on peach wood to hang on the door  - driving away ghosts and evil.  When the Queen Mother of the West celebrated her birthday, she invited guests to a repast of peaches giving the guests longevity. Anyone who ate of the fruit remained young and beautiful.  Auspicious peaches are given on birthdays to celebrate  the recipient’s longevity.

peach and peach wood

The peach and peach wood confer longevity. Peach flowers were said to cure various diseases when picked in the proper manner. Peach wood is said to be the essence of all trees and can overpower evil.  Charms are made by painting celestial beings on peach wood to hang on the door  - driving away ghosts and evil.  When the Queen Mother of the West celebrated her birthday, she invited guests to a repast of peaches giving the guests longevity. Anyone who ate of the fruit remained young and beautiful.  Auspicious peaches are given on birthdays to celebrate  the recipient’s longevity.

deer The word for deer and the word for prosperity are homonymns in the Chinese language. Deer often represent prosperity in art. Also, legend has the deer living a life of a thousand years -- thus, the deer is often association with the god of longevity.  Lingzhi (灵芝), also known as the glossy ganoderma, is the sacred fungus of immortality that grows on the trunks or roots of trees including the pine. The lingzhi does not decay like other fungus but instead becomes woody and thus can survive for a long time.  For this reason, it has become associated with longevity. It was also believed to grow on the "Three Islands of the Immortals" where immortals lived. Deer are reputed to be the only animals able to find lingzhi.  Deer and  crane are sometimes shown holding the lingzhi in their mouth.

deer

The word for deer and the word for prosperity are homonymns in the Chinese language. Deer often represent prosperity in art. Also, legend has the deer living a life of a thousand years -- thus, the deer is often association with the god of longevity. 

Lingzhi (灵芝), also known as the glossy ganoderma, is the sacred fungus of immortality that grows on the trunks or roots of trees including the pine.
The lingzhi does not decay like other fungus but instead becomes woody and thus can survive for a long time.  For this reason, it has become associated with longevity.
It was also believed to grow on the "Three Islands of the Immortals" where immortals lived. Deer are reputed to be the only animals able to find lingzhi.  Deer and  crane are sometimes shown holding the lingzhi in their mouth.

The dragon is a symbol of protection and good fortune. Residing in the clouds, the dragon was worshipped as a harbinger of rain and a good harvest. In the Han dynasty, the dragon became a potent imperial symbol used exclusively by the emperor and his high officials. The number of toes on the dragon indicates the position of the represented official. A five toed dragon can be used only by the emperor himself. Three or two toes may represent his officials. 

The dragon is a symbol of protection and good fortune. Residing in the clouds, the dragon was worshipped as a harbinger of rain and a good harvest. In the Han dynasty, the dragon became a potent imperial symbol used exclusively by the emperor and his high officials. The number of toes on the dragon indicates the position of the represented official. A five toed dragon can be used only by the emperor himself. Three or two toes may represent his officials. 

chrysanthemum The Chinese word for chrysanthemum and the word for forever are homonymns. Because the flower blooms in the fall, and often lasts through the winter, chrysanthemums are a symbol of longevity. The pronunciation of the word for 'nine' is also similar to the pronunciation of 'chrysanthemum' -- thus, a depiction of the flower with nine quail conveys the phrase 'May Nine Generations Live Under One Roof in Peace."

chrysanthemum

The Chinese word for chrysanthemum and the word for forever are homonymns. Because the flower blooms in the fall, and often lasts through the winter, chrysanthemums are a symbol of longevity. The pronunciation of the word for 'nine' is also similar to the pronunciation of 'chrysanthemum' -- thus, a depiction of the flower with nine quail conveys the phrase 'May Nine Generations Live Under One Roof in Peace."

phoenix | peacock The divine bird, the Phoenix, is said to be formed of five elements; metal, wind, water, fire and earth.  The head represents the sky; the eyes the sun; the back the moon; the wings the wind; the claws the earth; and the tail the latitude.  The phoenix is often depicted in a shape like a peacock; the two are often found together.  The varied colorful feathers have different features and represent various things.  For example, the head feathers represent virtue; the wing feathers rites; the back righteousness; the breast feathers benevolence; and the belly faith.  The bird brings peace and prosperity in its wake. The depiction of the phoenix with other symbols amplifies the meaning of the symbols inherent in the bird. For example, when the phoenix turns to the sun and is bathed in the sun’s golden rays it symbolizes the approach of a happy life and a bright future.  When it appears with a peony blossom, riches and honors are forthcoming as well as happiness. The phoenix has been designated, along with the dragon, for use by the emperor.  The union of the female phoenix and the male dragon represents a happy harmonious union. 

phoenix | peacock

The divine bird, the Phoenix, is said to be formed of five elements; metal, wind, water, fire and earth.  The head represents the sky; the eyes the sun; the back the moon; the wings the wind; the claws the earth; and the tail the latitude.  The phoenix is often depicted in a shape like a peacock; the two are often found together.  The varied colorful feathers have different features and represent various things.  For example, the head feathers represent virtue; the wing feathers rites; the back righteousness; the breast feathers benevolence; and the belly faith.  The bird brings peace and prosperity in its wake.

The depiction of the phoenix with other symbols amplifies the meaning of the symbols inherent in the bird. For example, when the phoenix turns to the sun and is bathed in the sun’s golden rays it symbolizes the approach of a happy life and a bright future.  When it appears with a peony blossom, riches and honors are forthcoming as well as happiness.

The phoenix has been designated, along with the dragon, for use by the emperor.  The union of the female phoenix and the male dragon represents a happy harmonious union.