What Does Black Mean In Chinese Culture?
In Chinese culture, colors hold a deep significance, and each color is associated with specific emotions and values. Among the colors that have a significant meaning is black, which is often linked to death, mourning, and darkness.
what is Black color?
The lack of visible light is what gives black its distinctive appearance. Black is frequently described as the darkest color conceivable because black absorbs all visible light wavelengths.
According to science, black is actually the absence of colour rather than a colour in the conventional sense. All visible wavelengths of light are absorbed by an item when it looks black, as opposed to being reflected back to the observer’s eyes.
Black has been associated with strength, elegance, and sophistication throughout human history despite having none of the typical attributes of colour. Black, for instance, is frequently utilised to express a feeling of drama or mystery in works of art while also being frequently linked with formal occasions and expensive apparel in the world of fashion.
Black is frequently connected to unpleasant feelings and situations, like fear, gloom, and grief. It is seen as an unlucky or unlucky colour in some cultures, while it may be connected to death and mourning in others.
In conclusion, black has strong cultural and emotional meanings that make it a potent and adaptable symbol in human experience even though it may not technically be a colour in the classical sense.
how many black are in ancient China?
what is black called in ancient China？ The synonyms and elegant names for black include: dark, ink, deep color, profound blue, and prime color.
In ancient China, black was referred to by various names, including baicaoshuang, cujingzao, youyanmo, li, an, you, youhei, profound blue, and coal black.
Baicaoshuang is a type of smoke ink that is formed by burning weeds and accumulating the resulting soot on the bottom of a pot or chimney. It has medicinal properties and is also known by other names such as yuexiaohui, zaotumo, fuxiamomo, zaotuzhongchen, fuqimomo, fuyuezhongmo, dangmo, zaoeshangmo, fudimomo, guodihui, dangdimei, zaoemomo, fuyanmei, zaomei, guoyanzi.
Cujingzao is a type of ink color that is made by mixing ink with other colors, and is commonly known as a “dirty” color. It is a very Chinese color that is formed by the crystallization of soap color, and is often used as a background color in Chinese painting.
Youyanmo, also known as soot ink, is a type of ink made from soot, which is primarily composed of carbon. Starting from the mid-Ming dynasty, the production of ink became a family tradition in the entire Huizhou region, making Huizhou the center of ink production in China.
Xuan color is a reddish-black color, and is also used to refer to black in general.
Xuanqing is a deep black color.
Wuse is a dark and black color.
Wuhei is a deep black or jet black color.
Qinghei is a very dark black color.
Mose is another name for black.
Mogray is a dark gray color.
Zise is a black color that is commonly used for silk fabric.
Coal black and ivory black are both black colors, but have different shades of warmth.
Li is a yellowish-black color.
An is a yellowish-greenish-black color.
You is a light black or slightly blue-black color.
Youhei is a general term for deep black or black in general.
Black in Chinese culture
Black is one of the traditional colors in Chinese culture. In the “Shuowen Jiezi” written by Xu Shen in the Eastern Han Dynasty, it is defined as “the color produced by the smoke of fire. It is the color of the North, the Black Warrior (Xuanwu).” Black, together with white, forms the concept of “color” and is also known as “colorlessness” in Chinese culture. In the “Yi Jing” (Book of Changes), black is elevated to the color of the “Heaven.” The ancient Chinese believed that the sky in the north was mysterious black, and the North Star, located in the north, was considered the position of the Heavenly Emperor. Therefore, black naturally represents the heavens and is the foremost among all colors. In the “Thousand Character Classic,” it is recorded that “The sky and earth are black and yellow, the universe is in chaos.” Black is also associated with water, one of the five elements in ancient Chinese culture.
In ancient China, words such as “xuan,” “xuanqing,” “wu,” “wuhei,” “qhei,” “mosi,” and “mohui” were used to refer to the color black. Black can have both positive and negative connotations in Chinese culture, just like the colors red, yellow, and white.
Black is frequently connected in Chinese culture to sad, depressing, and dark things like death. Along with representing the direction of north, it also represents the element of water. Thoughts of power, elegance, and authority are some good associations that black might have. Black was traditionally worn in Chinese clothes to symbolise mourning, but it was also a sign of rank and elegance when worn by scholars and officials.
Beautiful calligraphy and paintings are made in traditional Chinese art with the use of black ink. Black mountains, forests, and landscapes are frequently shown in Chinese ink paintings. In addition to emphasising contrast and depth, black ink is used to highlight the beauty of minimalism.
Yin and yang, or black and white, are frequently compared in Chinese philosophy. Darkness, the moon, and the feminine are all connected to yin, which is symbolised by black. Intuitive, passive, and receptive are frequently associated with Yin. White, on the other hand, stands for yang, the masculine, the sun, and light. Yang is frequently regarded as being proactive, confident, and sensible.
In Chinese culture, black generally has a nuanced and nuanced meaning, denoting both good and bad things.
what does Black symbolize in China?
The symbolic meanings of black are as follows:
- Black symbolizes authority, elegance, low-key, creativity, as well as persistence, indifference, and defense. Black is favored by most executives or white-collar professionals.
- In the cultural symbolism of the Han nationality, black, like red, yellow, and white, also has a dual cultural meaning, with both positive and negative connotations.
- Since black is similar to iron color, people have often used black to symbolize upright, steadfast, stern, selfless and other noble qualities since ancient times. For example, in the art of Chinese opera masks, black is often used to symbolize the noble character of historical figures’ firmness and impartiality.
- According to the ancient Chinese theory of the Five Elements and Five Directions, the five directions and five elements are respectively represented by blue, white, red, black, and yellow. The north belongs to water and is represented by black. Because water represents wealth in feng shui, black is also a color that brings prosperity. Therefore, people also use black to symbolize depth.
- Black also has negative connotations. In addition, black is associated with the ancient Chinese punishment of tattooing, known as qing. As early as the Zhou and Qin dynasties, characters or inscriptions were engraved or pierced on the forehead or face of prisoners, and then black ink was applied, leaving a permanent shame on the prisoner’s face. Therefore, black also has an ignoble connotation.
- In one of the four symbols of traditional Chinese culture, Xuanwu, according to the theory of the Five Elements, it is a spiritual beast representing the north, with the image of a black turtle and a snake (or a turtle and a snake), representing the winter season. In Taoism, Xuanwu was personified as Xuanwu God (also known as Xuantian Shangdi or Zhenwu Great Emperor) and worshipped during the Song and Yuan dynasties. In the Ming Dynasty, Xuanwu God was worshipped on Wudang Mountain with great fanfare.
- Among the Yi ethnic group in China, primitive aristocrats claimed to be different from ordinary people and had black bones, so black represents nobility. Black Yi is a nobleman, and white Yi is a slave.
- In finance, “black numbers” represent surplus, indicating that there is no debt.
- Sometimes, black food is considered beneficial to human health, such as black pork or black-bone chicken, which are more nutritious.
- Black is the color of mourning. People often wear black clothes to attend funerals.
- Black also represents “secrecy,” “concealment,” “evil,” and uncertainty, such as the “black society,” which refers to underground criminal organizations, and the “black box,” which refers to systems where no information is distributed.
- In Chinese oral language, black often means being ignored or excluded from the focus of attention. For example, describing a person who is “black” and not recognized by the boss.
- Black was the color worshipped by the Xia and Qin dynasties in ancient China, symbolizing the water virtue.
what does black mean in Chinese opera?
Peking Opera’s black-colored facial makeup typically represents loyalty, honesty, and uprightness. The function of facial makeup is to depict a character’s personality, qualities, identity, skills, appearance, and so on through the colors and patterns on the facial makeup.
The development of facial makeup art is closely intertwined with the development of Chinese opera. In the performances of Song Yuanju and Yuan Zaju in the 12th and 13th centuries, a clown facial makeup with a large white patch in the center of the face appeared.
To adapt to outdoor performances, facial makeup is generally composed of only three strongly contrasting colors: black, red, and white, emphasizing the facial features, skin color, and muscular contours, such as thick eyebrows, big eyes, turned-up nostrils, and a wide open mouth. This primitive facial makeup was simple and rough, but it gradually became more decorative as opera art developed. By the late 18th and early 19th centuries, after Peking Opera had formed a relatively complete artistic style and performance method, Peking Opera facial makeup also underwent continuous exploration, research, improvement, innovation, and reform by several generations of famous actors and drama artists, absorbing the advantages of facial makeup from local operas, and obtaining full development. The patterns and colors became more and more diverse, and the distinctions between characters of different personalities became more distinct, creating many facial makeups for historical and mythical figures, forming a complete set of makeup patterns.
is Black a lucky color in China?
In China, black is generally considered an unlucky color associated with mourning and death. Traditionally, it is the color worn at funerals and is often associated with negative events and emotions. However, the perception of the color black has changed over time, and some younger generations may view it differently, especially in fashion or design contexts. It is important to note that cultural beliefs and superstitions can vary across different regions and individuals, so it’s always best to be respectful and aware of local customs and traditions.
Black in Chinese history
The Xia dynasty had a dress code system that made black the official color of the royal court. This “dress code” included the king’s vehicles, flags, and clothing, and was a ceremonial expression of national consciousness.
The Shang dynasty claimed to be descendants of the black bird, as recorded in the Book of Songs: “The mandate of Heaven is the black bird, which descended and gave birth to the Shang.”
During the Qin dynasty, black became the mainstream color, from imperial robes and clothing to flags.
In the Taoist philosophy, black is the origin of all colors. As Laozi said, “The Tao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, and three gives birth to all things.” The simplicity and profundity of the Chinese spirit embodied in black has always been hidden in ink and wash paintings, and has evolved into the concept of “five colors of ink”.
Black symbolizes justice, seriousness, elegance, and solemnity.
After unifying the country, Qin Shi Huang chose black as the color of the dragon robe. However, the tradition of emperors wearing black robes did not end with the change of dynasty. The dragon robes of the Western Han dynasty still followed the color of the Qin dynasty. It wasn’t until Emperor Wen of Han that the dragon robe’s color changed from black to yellow. Emperor Wen of Han became the first emperor in Chinese history to wear a yellow robe.
The Qing Dynasty official costume was the attire worn by Qing Dynasty officials, which typically consisted of a long robe and jacket. The Qing Dynasty official costume also symbolized the official position of Qing Dynasty officials, with different officials wearing different official costumes that varied in the color and material of the hat and the design on the front. Additionally, the hats of officials of different ranks had different colored tops, and officials ranked fourth grade or higher often had to wear court beads.
The difference between blue and black Qing Dynasty official costumes was due to differences in ethnicity. Han officials typically wore black official costumes, while Manchu officials often wore blue official costumes. The color depth of the official costume also varied slightly depending on the position, and the higher the official rank, the more intricate the designs and patterns on the costume. Additionally, the emperor would reward officials with yellow jackets as a sign of his favor, and peacock feathers were often attached to the back of the hat.
why the qin dynasty is black?
The love of black color in the Qin Dynasty can be described as almost paranoid. According to historical records, almost everyone in the Qin Dynasty wore black clothes, even the lowly servants. The ministers in the court all wore black clothes as well.
The reason for the Qin Dynasty’s love for black was not unfounded. According to historical records, it was closely related to the previous rulers of the Qin State. During the reign of Duke Wen of Qin, he went hunting with his attendants and unexpectedly caught a black dragon. The black dragon was a symbol of water in the Five Elements, and Duke Wen of Qin believed that he was the water monarch appointed by heaven. He began to worship water, and since water corresponds to the color black in the Five Elements theory, black gradually became the main color in the Qin State. The worship of black continued from the Spring and Autumn period to the Qin Empire. Although it is not known how true this story is, it is clear that the people of the Qin State had an exceptional admiration for black.
From the unearthed Qin Dynasty artifacts and historical records, it can be seen that those who used black tools and wore black clothes in their daily lives also had high social status at that time.
Although it is not known how true this story is, it is clear that the people of the Qin State had an exceptional admiration for black. However, it is likely that Duke Wen of Qin’s worship of the Five Elements and water is true, as the Five Elements theory was very popular during the Spring and Autumn period. The theory held that gold, wood, water, fire, and earth each represented a virtue. These five virtues were interdependent and interrelated, and could explain the cycle of dynastic change. In many historical records, it can be seen that the Qin army’s military flags and uniforms were mostly black. This was not only because the Qin State admired black, but also because black was easy to hide and difficult for the enemy to detect.
Black is very resistant to dirt, making it easy for soldiers to clean their clothes and flags in simple military camps. After achieving multiple victories, Qin Shihuang believed even more that black was a symbol of good luck for the Qin State. After unifying China, black became the national color of the Qin Dynasty.
what is black used in ancient China?
In ancient China, the use of black had the following main meanings:
Black pottery: Chinese people have a long tradition of using black. As early as the Neolithic period, ancestors began to use black to decorate pottery. During the Shang Dynasty, people used black powder to fill the inscriptions on tortoise shells and animal bones.
Black clothing: From ancient times to the Spring and Autumn period, officials’ official clothes were generally made of black silk and were called “zhiyi”. The dragon robe of the emperor, which served as a tool to showcase personal authority, condense imperial thoughts, and embody imperial will, was naturally the ultimate symbol of ancient Chinese emperors. The Qin Dynasty was the first feudal dynasty in Chinese history, and the main color of the dragon robe (then called the “emperor’s clothing”) was the restrained and deep black. The Han Dynasty inherited the Qin system, and officials’ clothing continued to use black. After the Han Dynasty, the official clothing of various dynasties became colorful, but black was still retained. The black block also moved from the clothes to the hat worn by officials. The wushamao became the unique symbol of ancient officials.
Refers to geographical locations: Compared with the dignity in the eyes of rulers, people’s reaction to black is more disgust, aversion, and fear. People often use black to describe things they do not like or that are not good. The theory of the Five Elements uses black to represent the north, because the north is colder and more desolate. Youzhou is one of the ancient nine states. The specific area has changed at different times, and the general range is in today’s Beijing, Tianjin, and parts of Hebei and Liaoning. Since the Western Zhou Dynasty, people have called this area “Youzhou,” with the meaning of darkness and gloominess. In addition, Youzhou is an ancient border fortress and a battleground for military strategists. The sense of killing brought about by wars has also cast a shadow over Youzhou.
Punishment: People’s fear of black is also closely related to the rulers’ use of strong punishments such as facial tattoos. Yi, Bin, Gong, Sha, and Qing are the five types of punishments that existed in ancient times. Among them, Qing punishment, also called Mo punishment, involves “first carving the face and then filling it with ink,” which means carving characters or symbols on the faces or foreheads of criminals and then applying ink.
Refers to corruption: People’s disgust and fear of the ruling class are also manifested in the use of “tanmo” to refer to corrupt officials, criticizing officials who cannot keep themselves clean and who embezzle state and people’s property while in power. “Zuo Zhuan · Zhao Gong Fourteen Years” tells the story of Yang Shefu, the chief judge of the Jin Dynasty (an ancient official in charge of justice), who “used corruption to ruin his position.” Yang Shefu himself was a law enforcer but could not abide by the law, and he eventually was beheaded as a warning to others. This is the first written record of “tanmo” used to describe corrupt officials.
Tai Chi Eight Trigrams: The Tai Chi symbol is a circular pattern consisting of two fish-shaped patterns in black and white, commonly known as the Yin-Yang fish. Tai Chi is an ancient philosophical term in China that means the origin of all things. The Tai Chi symbol expresses the philosophy that the interplay of Yin and Yang is the root of all creation and change.
Funeral Attire: Ancient Chinese funeral customs and traditions avoided the use of colorful clothing, so the attire and objects chosen were mostly in the two extreme colors without color, namely white and black. Unlike Western funeral attire, which is typically black, the Chinese mourning period primarily involves wearing plain white or linen clothing, with black attire as a secondary option. This is because ancient people believed that black was an auspicious color, and as the Analects of Confucius say, “In mourning, one wears plain garments, in auspicious ceremonies, one wears black; mourning and auspicious ceremonies have different attire.” However, plain black is not the same as black as the primary auspicious color, but it is solemn and suitable for funerals, especially before and after the funeral rituals, where black clothing replaces white mourning clothes.
Black Dye: Plant-based materials are the primary source of black dye in ancient China. The raw materials for black dye were the bark of some tannin-containing plants, such as the pericarp of galls, the green skin of walnuts, the green skin of chestnuts, the bark of oak trees, lotus seed skin, and birch fruit. By soaking them in water and combining them with a mordant, such as ferrous sulphate, tannic acid, iron rust, or alum, the dye produced an iron tannate, which oxidized to form a black precipitate on the fabric after sun exposure. Since ferrous sulphate was commonly used for dyeing black, it was also called “soap mordant.”
Writing Material: Ink is a liquid that contains pigment or dye used for writing or painting. The earliest ink was made from pigments of metals, walnut shells, or seeds, or from ink extracted from water animals such as fish and squid. The ink used in China is carbon ink.
Painting Pigment: In Chinese painting, ink is one of the unique materials used as the primary ingredient, and the degree of dilution with water determines the different shades of ink, such as dense, light, dry, wet, or scorched. These create different levels of black, white, and gray and are called “ink charm,” forming a painting style dominated by ink and water.
Black Lacquer: Chinese lacquer, also known as natural lacquer, is one of China’s famous special products and belongs to natural resin coatings. Freshly harvested sap from the lacquer tree is a milky white, viscous liquid that gradually turns brown, purple, or black when exposed to air. Black lacquer is made by adding charcoal, bone ash, rust water, or smoke to the lacquer. The process of making a lacquerware product involves many steps, from design to production.
Black Flag Army
The Black Flag Army was a local armed group in China in the late 19th century, named after its battle flag featuring seven black stars. In its early years, its main military action was against Qing Dynasty rule. In 1867, the Qing army’s attack forced the Black Flag Army to relocate to Baosheng (now in Vietnam). Later, in the war against French invasion of Vietnam (Sino-French War), the army achieved multiple victories. Its leader, Liu Yongfu (1837-1917), was awarded the position of Vice Admiral by the King of Vietnam. Together with the forces of the veteran Feng Zicai, Liu led the army to the great victory of Zhenning Pass, where they killed over a thousand French soldiers, turning the tide of the war and forcing the resignation of the Jules Ferry cabinet that had initiated the conflict. After Liu Yongfu returned to China, the Qing court ordered the disbandment of the Black Flag Army. During the First Sino-Japanese War, the Black Flag Army was reorganized on the orders of the Qing government, still led by Liu Yongfu, and stationed on Taiwan Island. Later, the Japanese army occupied Taiwan, and the soldiers of the Black Flag Army were mostly killed in battle due to the difficult situation.
how did they make Black in ancient China?
Black Dye: In ancient times, people extracted black color from plants containing tannins, such as the husks of gallnuts, the green husks of walnuts and chestnuts, oak bark and acorn cups, and even insects. By reacting with green vitriol, these plants could produce iron tannate, which, when exposed to sunlight, oxidized and became black dye. To achieve a purer color, the dyeing process needed to be repeated.
Ink: Ink is a liquid containing pigments or dyes used for writing or drawing. The earliest ink was made from dyes obtained from metals, walnut shells, or seeds, or from the ink of marine animals such as fish and octopus. Chinese ink is made from carbon.
Hair dye: Although ancient Chinese people did not have hair dye, they would still color their hair, mainly using two methods: expensive medicine or cheap folk remedies. After all, the desire to be beautiful is universal, not just among the wealthy but also among ordinary people who seek to have shiny and dark hair. When they lacked enough money, they turned to some simple folk methods, including the widely spread black bean dyeing method.
Black beans were soaked in vinegar, which turned into a sticky black paste. After filtering out impurities, the paste could be applied to the hair, and it naturally adhered to the hair, making it appear shiny and black. In addition to black beans, raspberries also have a similar effect and are easily found in rural areas. Even if you do not want to leave the city, both of these materials are medicine and can be purchased at a low price from drugstores in the city.
Chinese Black terracotta warriors
Most of the terracotta warriors and horses we see today are black or yellow, but in fact, the original terracotta warriors and horses were not like what we see now. In reality, these exquisite terracotta warriors and horses were originally colorful, with colors for skin, hair, clothing, etc. all present. The terracotta warriors and horses were painted according to the real situation. The newly unearthed terracotta warriors and horses represent the true appearance of the original figures, while the terracotta warriors and horses we see today have long since faded, making them appear very old.
what does the Black Chinese dragon symbolize?
The black dragon in Chinese mythology represents:
The dragon of the North.
During the Warring States period, Mozi wrote in “Mozi·Guiyi”: “The Emperor assigned Jia and Yi to kill the Azure Dragon in the east, Bing and Ding to kill the Red Dragon in the south, Geng and Xin to kill the White Dragon in the west, and Ren and Gui to kill the Black Dragon in the north.”
A monster in the water.
In “Huainanzi·Lanmingxun”, a book by Liu An of the Western Han Dynasty, it is written: “At that time, Nüwa repaired the leaking sky with five-color stones, cut off the feet of the giant sea turtle to support the four directions of the sky, killed the black dragon to save the people of Jizhou, and piled up reeds and ash to stop the flooding water.”
A symbol of auspiciousness.
In “Shiji·Fengshan Shu”, a book by Sima Qian of the Western Han Dynasty, it is written: “In ancient times, Qin Wengong went hunting and caught a black dragon, which was an auspicious sign of water.”
A wicked beast that causes river floods.
In the Tang Dynasty, Yang Jiong wrote in the “Memorial Stele for the Divine Path of Gao Jun, the Captain of the Tang Imperial Guards”: “Nüwa received the order to kill the Black Dragon and determine the water level; Han Gaozu took the opportunity to slay the White Snake and open the fire element.”
black tortoise Chinese mythology
The Black Tortoise is a mythical creature in Chinese mythology and is also known as the “Black Warrior” or “Black Turtle.” It is one of the four symbols of the Chinese constellations and represents the north and the winter season.
The Black Tortoise is said to have the head and tail of a dragon and the body of a turtle. It is often depicted with a snake coiled around its neck and a bell in its mouth. The tortoise is associated with longevity and protection, and it is believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits.
In Chinese mythology, the Black Tortoise is also associated with the element of water and is one of the guardians of the four compass directions. It is said to protect the north and is associated with the winter solstice. The tortoise is also believed to represent wisdom, knowledge, and endurance.
In Feng Shui, the Black Tortoise is often used as a symbol of protection and stability. It is believed to help bring balance and harmony to a space and to promote longevity and good health.
In Beijing opera, Bao Zheng is portrayed as having a big black face and a crescent moon-shaped birthmark on his forehead. According to theatrical tradition, Bao Zheng should have a forehead resembling the sun and moon, eyebrows like Mount Tai, and phoenix eyes.
In Beijing opera, the color of a character’s face represents their personality, with black faces being associated with integrity, white faces with cunning, and red faces with loyalty. Therefore, if Bao Zheng were portrayed with a white face in Beijing opera, it would not be consistent with popular perceptions of his character. Instead, giving him a black face emphasizes his reputation for being a fair and impartial judge, which has become the popular image of Bao Zheng over time, as portrayed in television dramas.
In 1042, Bao Zheng was appointed as the Three Excellencies and Vice-Minister of War, equivalent to the position of deputy prime minister. However, he was already over sixty years old at the time and his health began to deteriorate. Bao Zheng passed away in office at the age of 64, and the people of Kaifeng mourned his passing.
In the years that followed, Bao Zheng’s reputation spread far and wide. A temple was built in his hometown of Hefei to honor his contributions to the country and its people. Today, Bao Zheng is commonly known as “Judge Bao” and has become a household name in China.
why is Black important in Chinese culture?
Black is an important color in Chinese culture for a few reasons.
Firstly, it is associated with water and the winter season, which is a time of rest and reflection in Chinese philosophy. Black is also associated with the north, which is seen as the direction of the underworld and the realm of the ancestors.
Secondly, black is often used to symbolize power and authority, as seen in the black robes worn by judges and government officials. It is also a popular color for calligraphy and ink painting, which are highly respected art forms in China.
Thirdly, black is associated with the concept of yin, which represents femininity, darkness, and passivity. The balance between yin and yang, which represents masculinity, lightness, and activity, is an important concept in traditional Chinese philosophy and medicine.
Overall, black is a complex and multifaceted color in Chinese culture, representing a range of concepts and ideas.
What are some Black fruits?
Mulberry fruit: Black mulberry is the fruit of the mulberry tree and is known as the “folk holy fruit”. It can be used both as food and medicine. Mulberries are highly nutritious and have medicinal value, which can nourish the body, strengthen the heart, and benefit the brain. Mulberries can be eaten by the general population, but people with diabetes should eat less or avoid them, and those with weak constitution or diarrhea should not eat them.
Water chestnut: Black water chestnut, also known as waist chestnut, water chestnut, and chestnut fruit, is a fruit of the annual aquatic plant water chestnut in the family Cyperaceae. Water chestnuts have crispy skin and delicious flesh. They can be steamed or boiled and peeled for consumption, or made into porridge.
Black in feng shui
In feng shui, black is believed to represent the water element and symbolize power, sophistication, and protection. It is associated with the North direction, which represents career and life path, and is often used in feng shui to enhance the energy of this area. Black is also used to absorb negative energy and create a sense of depth and mystery, making it a popular color choice in interior design and decoration. However, using too much black can create a sense of heaviness and depression, so it is important to balance it with other colors and elements in the space.
what does the black mean in yin and yang?
In the concept of yin and yang, black represents the yin, which is associated with feminine, passive, dark, and receptive energy. It is the complementary opposite of yang, which represents masculine, active, bright, and assertive energy.
Yin and yang are seen as interconnected and interdependent forces that exist in all things and are constantly in a state of flux. The balance between yin and yang is believed to be essential for harmony and well-being in all aspects of life, including health, relationships, and the environment.
Therefore, black in yin and yang represents an important aspect of the balance of energy in the universe, and it is considered necessary to acknowledge and honor the yin as well as the yang to maintain balance and harmony.
Both visually and theoretically, black is deeper than any other color. In traditional culture, black has a high theoretical status. In the color system based on Yin and Yang and the Five Elements, black is a orthodox and noble color and has the strongest representational and symbolic meaning, just as it has the strongest coverage. Black is the original color of the heavens. The philosopher Zhu Xi said, “When the sky is bright, the sun and moon are not visible. The sky is not bright. At midnight, the sky is black, which is the true color of the sky.” Brightness during the day comes from the sun’s light, but the darkness at night is the true color of the sky. In traditional culture, black represents the essence of the universe and is extremely mysterious. Black is also the color of the earth. The philosopher Yu Yan pointed out, “Black is the color of the earth (Qian, extreme yang, so it is red; Kun, extreme yin, so it is black. Black is the fertile color of the earth that can reproduce. The scholar Pingan Xiang said: Black is the color of dark yin, and not yellow. Black represents the center line, and red represents the upper and lower lines. If it is about the extreme, Qian is red, and Kun is black. Therefore, the Tian Tu map has Qian in the south and Kun in the north)”, replacing yellow as the representative color of the earth. Black’s contrasting color is not white, the other extreme color in terms of pure visual perception, but red according to the theory of the Five Elements. Red represents yang and the heavens, while black represents yin and the earth. In this sense, the color of the sky has become red again. Black is also the color of the north. The Northern Song scholar Wang Zhaoyu said, “Black is the color of the northern sky.” The Southern Song scholar Wang Yuzhi also discussed, “The black and mysterious colors are both the colors of the north. Black is the color of yin, and the north is the place where all things return to their roots and destiny. It is the gathering place of pure yin. We name it as the “correct” color, but it can also be called mysterious.” Black in the north is considered to be the foundation and destination of all things. The costumes of the Five Sacred Mountains gods in the Song Dynasty were made of black silk, representing the Northern Mountain. In summary, black occupies three aspects in the universe and is the main color tone of the universe, surpassing any other color.
Black in Chinese mythology
Both in mythology and in the concept of “Yin Cao Di Fu” (the underworld) in Chinese culture, it is a place of darkness and devoid of sunlight, in contrast to brightness. Therefore, black is associated with negative connotations such as “darkness, treachery, horror, and death.” In Taoist mythology, there is a pair of deities that are probably well-known to every Chinese person: Hei Bai Wu Chang (Black and White Impermanence). Black Impermanence, also known as Fan Wusha, belongs to Yin and has a fierce appearance. He wears an official hat with the words “peace under heaven” on it and is said to be “catching you.” He absorbs the Yang souls of women and disperses the Yang souls of men. Bai Impermanence, also known as Xie Bian, belongs to Yang and has a pale complexion and a long tongue. He wears an official hat with the words “wealth throughout your life” on it and is said to be “you’re here too.” He absorbs the Yin souls of men and disperses the Yin souls of women. The two work together in close collaboration and are definitely China’s “best partners” in history. They are among the ten major Yin commanders.
in terms of the five elements what is black associated with
In the Five Elements theory, black is associated with the Water element. Water is considered yin in nature, and black is its representative color. Water is often associated with deep emotions, intuition, and the unknown, and black can reflect these same qualities. Additionally, black can represent stillness, calmness, and the potential for change, just like the deep, dark depths of a body of water. In Chinese metaphysics, black is often used to balance excessive Fire energy, which can be associated with feelings of agitation, restlessness, and impulsivity.
can i wear black to Chinese wedding?
In traditional Chinese culture, black is generally associated with mourning and is considered inappropriate to wear to joyous occasions like weddings. It is best to avoid wearing black to a Chinese wedding, as it may be seen as a sign of disrespect or bad luck.
Instead, it is recommended to wear bright and festive colors like red, pink, and gold to Chinese weddings. These colors are considered auspicious and symbolize happiness, prosperity, and good fortune.
Black Chinese painting
Unlike the art forms in Europe, in the four treasures of brush, ink, paper, and inkstone, each item is unique. The paper must be Xuan paper, which directly affects the final result of the ink handling. Therefore, Xuan paper must be resilient enough to withstand the infiltration of five colors: brown, dense, heavy, light, and blue. In modern freehand landscape painting, there is a type called “black painting”, such as Huang Binhong’s later landscape paintings. His paintings have layers of ink, one layer covering another, expressing a strong and rich image, forming a landscape painting that combines tradition and modernity. There are also other types such as Zhang Daqian’s splashed ink landscape, Xu Beihong’s splashed ink running horse, Qi Baishi’s transparent small shrimps, all leading the way in Chinese painting. These techniques that use accumulated ink, broken ink, and collided ink have almost harsh requirements on Xuan paper. All of this is the aesthetics of black. Black occupies an absolute central position in landscape painting and calligraphy.
Black in Chinese Festival
“Black clothing is not recommended during the Ghost Festival. In traditional Chinese society, black represents ominousness and disaster, which makes some people who can sense supernatural energy feel uneasy and fearful when seeing all-black clothing, including undergarments, especially at night during the Ghost Festival. This may attract ghosts.
Black in Taoism
In Chinese religion, Taoism venerates the color black. Taoist philosophy advocates simplicity, emptiness, and the pursuit of “knowing black and holding onto white.” In Taoist thought, black and white correspond to yin and yang. The yin-yang fish symbol in Taoism features the typical black and white colors: a black fish with a white eye and a white fish with a black eye. The two oppose each other yet also merge, and they avoid extremes. This Taiji symbol is known as the “Number One Diagram of China,” embodying China’s unique philosophical thought. The origin and interpretation of the Taiji diagram cannot be traced, but it dates back to ancient times. In fact, the yin-yang concept has permeated throughout Chinese history.
Black in Confucianism
Confucian culture advocates frugality and hard work, and regards black as a simple and concise color that conforms to Confucian values. Therefore, the cultural tradition of black in the Qin Dynasty reflects the influence of Confucian culture to some extent. In both Taoist and Confucian thought, black is also seen as a representative color, symbolizing restraint, introversion, and conservatism.
Black in Buddhism
Actually, in Buddhism, black is not generally associated with darkness or hate. Instead, it is often seen as a symbol of voidness, or the absence of all colors. This concept of emptiness is an important concept in Buddhist philosophy, representing the idea that all phenomena lack inherent existence and are instead dependent on causes and conditions. In this sense, black can represent the ultimate nature of reality and the potential for enlightenment. Additionally, black is sometimes associated with the Mahakala, a wrathful deity who is seen as a protector of Buddhist teachings and practitioners. So, while black may have negative connotations in some cultural contexts, in Buddhism it has a more complex and nuanced symbolism.
Black at Chinese funerals
Mourning clothes are black, and filial piety clothes are white. Since ancient times, there has been a custom of wearing mourning clothes and observing filial piety. Black is the color worn by mourners to express grief, while white is the true color of filial piety clothes worn by the younger generation of the deceased. Black is a color of mourning and people often wear black clothes to attend funerals.
In traditional Chinese culture, white is the color of filial piety clothes. When visiting someone who has lost a loved one, it is inappropriate to discuss happy things, speak loudly, or laugh loudly. Mourning clothes are black, and filial piety clothes are white. Since ancient times, there has been a custom of wearing mourning clothes and observing filial piety. Shiny dark clothes are absolutely not suitable to wear, and evening wear, sportswear, casual wear, and Western-style clothes are also considered too casual and should not be worn.
Black veil represents mourning. When someone passes away, the family members wear a black veil on their arm. In China, it is customary to wear white mourning cloth, but in recent years, wearing a black veil has also become a common practice. In China and Japan, white is the color of mourning, while in Africa, it is red, and in Europe and America, it is black. The purpose of wearing mourning clothes in ancient times was mainly to disguise oneself and avoid being recognized by the god of death.
Black eggs, also known as “pidan” or “thousand-year-old eggs,” are a traditional Chinese delicacy made from duck, chicken, or quail eggs preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice straw for several weeks to several months. They have a unique flavor and texture and are often enjoyed as a snack or used in various dishes. In addition to their culinary value, black eggs are also believed to have certain medicinal properties according to traditional Chinese medicine. They are considered to have a cooling nature and are believed to be helpful in treating conditions such as eye pain, toothache, hypertension, and dizziness. While they are generally safe to consume for most people, individuals with certain health conditions, such as gastrointestinal disorders, liver or kidney disease, or those with weak spleen or cold and damp diarrhea should consume them in moderation.
Black vs. Blue
In Chinese culture, both black and blue have significant meanings and symbolisms.
Black is often associated with power, mystery, and solemnity. It is the color of the universe before the creation of light and is considered the ultimate yin color. In traditional Chinese culture, black is often worn at funerals and used to represent mourning, grief, and respect for the dead. It is also the color of ink and calligraphy, representing knowledge, wisdom, and scholarship. In some contexts, black can also represent evil or negativity.
On the other hand, blue is associated with nature, immortality, and heaven. It is considered a yang color and represents the sky, the sea, and the horizon. In Chinese mythology, the blue dragon represents the east and the spring season. Blue is also the color of traditional Chinese pottery, symbolizing simplicity, purity, and the harmony between human beings and nature. In some contexts, blue can also represent sadness or depression.
Overall, both black and blue have rich cultural meanings in China, and their symbolism can vary depending on the context and the historical period.
Black vs. White
In Chinese culture, black and white have contrasting symbolism. While black is often associated with negativity and death, white is associated with purity and brightness.
Black is traditionally worn at funerals in China and is seen as a color of mourning. In some Chinese beliefs, it is believed that the color black can ward off evil spirits and protect against negative energy. However, black can also be associated with power, strength, and elegance.
On the other hand, white is associated with purity, clarity, and cleanliness. It is a common color for wedding dresses, as it symbolizes the bride’s purity and innocence. White is also associated with mourning in some parts of China, particularly in northern regions, where white is worn during the mourning period.
In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin and yang sees black and white as complementary opposites. Yin represents feminine, dark, and negative energy, while yang represents masculine, bright, and positive energy. The balance between these two energies is seen as essential for harmony and well-being.
Black vs. Red
Black and red are both important colors in Chinese culture and have various meanings.
Black is often associated with darkness, death, and evil, but it can also symbolize power, strength, and elegance. As we discussed earlier, the Qin dynasty had a strong preference for black, and it became associated with the imperial power and authority.
Red, on the other hand, is a highly auspicious color in Chinese culture, representing good luck, happiness, and prosperity. It is commonly used in festivals, weddings, and other joyful occasions. In traditional Chinese culture, red also symbolizes courage, loyalty, and passion.
In terms of symbolism, black and red can have opposing meanings. For example, black can represent yin energy (passive, dark, and feminine), while red can represent yang energy (active, bright, and masculine). The combination of black and red can create a sense of balance between these two energies.
In certain contexts, black and red can also be used together to convey a sense of danger or warning. For instance, warning signs or labels are often printed in black and red in China. In summary, black and red both have complex and varied meanings in Chinese culture, and their symbolism depends heavily on the context in which they are used.
to dream of black meaning
What does dreaming of black color mean for different people?
- Men dreaming of black color signifies that they have reservations about their attitude and views towards sex.
- Women dreaming of black color implies that they want to control everything in their lives but find it difficult to do so.
- Pregnant women dreaming of black color foretell a happy life and happy relationships.
- Bosses dreaming of black color indicate that they will receive a large amount of wealth.
- Students dreaming of black color suggest progress in exams.
- Patients dreaming of black color indicate that their recent health conditions will improve, and their previous minor illnesses will finally recover. It is recommended to do more physical exercises to stay healthy.
- Elderly people dreaming of black color imply that their descendants will prosper, their family business will flourish, and their business will be very successful. For scholars, it indicates an increase in their knowledge.
- Farmers dreaming of black color mean that good luck is just around the corner, and as long as they show love, good things will happen.
- Travelers dreaming of black color suggest comfortable travels and successful careers.
- Poor people dreaming of black color represent troubled things or that things are progressing steadily.
- Married women dreaming of black color imply that their recent mood is not very good, which may be due to relationship problems that make them feel tired. This dream reminds them to adjust their mentality and relax.
- Married men dreaming of black color foretell an increase in job opportunities and many chances to be contacted by headhunters. However, they should be careful not to miss the opportunities in front of them due to their distractions.
- Single women dreaming of black color indicate that they may succeed in love in the near future, but both parties must not act selfishly.
- Single men dreaming of black color suggest that their love fortune is not good lately, and their significant other may be unfaithful, leading to no results. This is an inauspicious omen.
- Workers dreaming of black color imply that they will suffer financially.
- People in love dreaming of black color signify a significant breakthrough.
- Lawyers dreaming of black color indicate that they are smart people who often rely on others’ help in their relationships, which can contribute to their career success.
- Job seekers dreaming of black color suggest their basic needs and priorities.
- Drivers dreaming of black color mean that they have a lot of leisure time, but they also need to be careful not to create unnecessary trouble. Quarrels seem to be their way of adjusting their lives.
- Salespeople dreaming of black color suggest that they need to be meticulous and careful.
What does dreaming of black color mean for different Chinese zodiac signs?
- For people born in the Year of the Rat, dreaming of black color suggests unhappy family life.
- For people born in the Year of the Ox, dreaming of black color implies smooth progress in planned matters, and benefits to be enjoyed from the fruits of success.
- For people born in the Year of the Tiger, dreaming of black color indicates worries about money.
- For people born in the Year of the Rabbit, dreaming of black color means being alert to cunning schemes.
- For people born in the Year of the Dragon, dreaming of black color can be distressing, indicating that excessive attention and concern from friends or others may make it difficult for them to adapt.
- For people born in the Year of the Snake, dreaming of black color suggests that all pain and disasters will come to an end, and they will enjoy a very happy life.
- For people born in the Year of the Horse, dreaming of black color means there will be difficulties and unpleasantness ahead.
- For people born in the Year of the Sheep, dreaming of black color suggests they will not be free in the near future.
- For people born in the Year of the Monkey, dreaming of black color indicates that unlucky days are approaching, they may suffer from illness or financial losses.
- For people born in the Year of the Rooster, dreaming of black color suggests that those who are seriously ill should be cautious, and there may be many obstacles to success.
- For people born in the Year of the Dog, dreaming of black color means someone or something in their real life is draining their energy.
- For people born in the Year of the Pig, dreaming of black color suggests they may participate in new or unplanned activities.
Dreaming of black at different times means:
- Dreaming of black at night symbolizes repressed ideals or upright concepts in the heart.
- Dreaming of black in the middle of the night suggests that there will be an extra income, such as doing some private work for others and receiving compensation.
- Dreaming of black in the late night signifies the hardships, difficulties, and fatigue in life.
- Dreaming of black in the early morning means that your life choices are healthy.
- Dreaming of black in the morning indicates the possibility of happy marriage.
- Dreaming of black in the morning suggests that you are deviating from your established goals.
- Dreaming of black at noon symbolizes fleeting elements of life or human nature.
- Dreaming of black in the afternoon suggests a fruitless adventure that leads to no gains.
- Dreaming of black in the evening indicates that there will be a new baby in the family.
Dreaming of black things
- Dreaming of wearing black clothes indicates that you will encounter misfortune, and a family member may pass away.
- A man dreaming of falling in love with a woman in black clothes indicates inner depression or the lack of a romantic partner in life.
- Dreaming of a black tiger predicts good luck in the near future, with all things around you developing in a positive direction. If you have any ideas or plans, go ahead and do them boldly. You will surely succeed smoothly.
- Dreaming of a black coffin can help you overcome your enemies, but you will have to part ways with your supporters.
- Dreaming of a black bird not only symbolizes a certain part of your subconscious but also represents the negative aspects of femininity. In addition, there are many different types of black birds, such as crows. If you dream of a black bird that feeds on carrion, such as eagles, crows, and vultures, it is associated with death. Truly prophetic dreams are rare. Therefore, dreaming of death usually expresses your anxiety about it.
- Dreaming of being bitten by a black dog indicates that you will have disagreements with your friends and be isolated.
- Dreaming of being chased by a black dog suggests that your moral and value systems are somewhat ambiguous.
- Dreaming of a black dog coming towards you indicates that you will make good friends and receive help from them in difficult times.
- Dreaming of a black python predicts that you will encounter difficulties and troubles in the near future.
- Dreaming of a black rainbow indicates that you will be deceived by someone who speaks sweet words. Therefore, you should pay special attention to people who talk too much recently and avoid being deceived.
- Dreaming of a large black fish swimming predicts that you will be dedicated to leisure activities in the near future and will spend a lot of energy on them. However, you should be careful not to overspend, and you should consider and balance your resources.
- Dreaming of driving a black car indicates that you need to adjust your mood to face the challenges of the next stage. You may also find it difficult to make decisions, so it is recommended that you seek the advice of a good friend, which will bring you different results.
- Dreaming of having black shoe polish all over your hands indicates that you will be troubled by something recently, and the various attitudes of the people around you will make you feel uneasy. It is recommended that you not take it too seriously and focus on other aspects. At the same time, you may experience symptoms of hormonal imbalance, so it is important to maintain a calm and balanced mindset
- Dreaming of wearing black sandals indicates that you will encounter unlucky events, which may cause you economic losses.
- Dreaming of being chased by a black dog suggests that the dreamer does not know what goes against their values. Dreaming of falling in love with a woman in black clothes suggests that the dreamer does not know who will love them or has not yet met someone to love them.
- Dreaming of a sick black cat indicates that the dreamer has serious psychological barriers.
While the meaning of black in Chinese culture can be complex and varied, it is clear that this color has held a significant place in Chinese history and society. Whether associated with mourning or modernity, black remains a color of power and respect, and its significance will continue to evolve in Chinese culture and beyond.