What Does Deer Symbolism In Chinese Culture?

The symbolic meaning of deer has been highly valued in China since ancient times. The deer represents success, longevity, and abundance. Some of the other qualities that go hand in hand with it are innocence, refinement, and kindness. The symbolism of the deer in Chinese culture will be discussed in this article.

What is a deer?

Deer are members of the Cervidae family, which consists of hoofed mammals. North and South America, Europe, and Asia are just a few of the places you can find them. The antlers of male deer are a defining characteristic of the species, and they grow and fall off every year.

Deer come in a wide range of sizes, from the tiny Pudu (which is only 30 cm tall at the shoulder) to the massive moose (which can be over two meters tall at the shoulder). Deer come in a wide range of sizes, but they all look similar in that they have a long neck, skinny legs, and a short tail.

Deer are herbivores that subsist primarily on plant matter. They are able to digest tough plant matter and absorb the most nutrients from their food thanks to their four-chambered stomachs. As ruminants, deer have a special digestive system that allows them to regurgitate and re-chew their food several times before it is fully digested.

Males of the species grow and shed their antlers every year, making this one of the most conspicuous changes in their appearance. Bone is used to create antlers, which are then covered in a velvety skin. The velvet protects and nourishes the developing antler bone structure. The velvet on the antlers dries up and falls off once they reach their full size, revealing the underlying hard bone.

As a keystone species, deer are vital to the health of a wide variety of ecosystems. By eating vegetation, they help regulate plant populations, which in turn helps to control overgrazing and promotes healthy plant growth. Predators like wolves, bears, and big cats rely heavily on deer for sustenance.

Deer are beneficial to the environment, but they can be a nuisance to humans. High deer populations can be a problem for farmers, gardeners, and foresters. In addition to being a danger to pedestrians, they are a hazard to motorists when they suddenly dart out into traffic.

Recreational deer hunting is widespread. Large bucks with spectacular antlers are highly sought after by hunters and can command high prices on the hunting market. When there are too many deer in an area, hunting can be used to reduce their numbers while also providing a food source for the hunters and their families.

Deer play an important role in human culture and have done so for thousands of years, in addition to their ecological and recreational value. The characteristics of grace, gentleness, and purity are often associated with deer in various cultures. Many cultures still hold the deer in high esteem as a symbol because of the many ways it has been depicted in art, literature, and mythology throughout the ages. 

What kind of deer are in China?

There are several species of deer that are native to China, including the following:

  • Sika Deer: Also known as spotted deer or Japanese deer, sika deer are a small species of deer that are found throughout much of East Asia, including China. They are known for their distinctive spotted coat and small antlers.
  • Red Deer: Red deer are a large species of deer that are found throughout much of Europe and Asia, including China. They are known for their large antlers and reddish-brown coats.
  • Reeve’s Muntjac: Also known as barking deer, Reeve’s muntjac are a small species of deer that are found throughout Southeast Asia, including China. They are known for their distinctive barking call and small antlers.
  • White-lipped Deer: White-lipped deer are a medium-sized species of deer that are found throughout much of Southeast Asia, including China. They are known for their distinctive white markings around their lips and large antlers.
  • Water Deer: Water deer are a small species of deer that are found throughout much of East Asia, including China. They are known for their unique tusks, which are actually elongated canine teeth that protrude from their mouths.

Where do deer live in China?

Deer can be found in China’s forests, grasslands, and mountains, among other places. In general, deer prefer areas with abundant vegetation, both as a food source and a means of concealment from predators. However, the exact habitat preferences of individual species of deer can vary widely.

For example, sika deer can be found in woodlands, grasslands, and even swamps. They favor habitats that have both plenty of vegetation and easy access to water. Conversely, red deer prefer the cover of forests, especially those at higher altitudes, such as those found in mountainous regions.

Forests, grasslands, and even farmland are all common places to spot a Reeve’s muntjac. They like to hang out in wooded areas with plenty of cover and water nearby. Water deer tend to congregate around swamps and other bodies of water, while white-lipped deer prefer forested areas at higher elevations.

Native to eastern Asia, the Père David’s deer (or Milu deer) is critically endangered and can be found primarily in eastern Russia, eastern Japan, and eastern China. These areas include the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, central Inner Mongolia, southern Anhui, northern Jiangxi, western Zhejiang, Sichuan, Guangdong, and others. There are an estimated 3,000 wild Père David’s deer in the Tiebu Nature Reserve in northern Sichuan. 

deer in Chinese culture

The Chinese have held a long-held fascination with deer, and they’ve attributed to them for thousands of years. According to ancient Chinese mythology, deer possess supernatural abilities and are symbolically linked to eternal life and prosperity. Since they were seen as messengers of good fortune, they were frequently depicted in art.

Art and literature from China typically portrayed deer as peaceful, perceptive, and graceful creatures. Because of their association with the Daoist concept of “wu wei,” or “letting things happen naturally without forcing them,” they were frequently used as a symbol of wisdom.

Many ancient Chinese communities relied on deer for their diet and economy, using the animals for their meat, hides, and even their antlers. Domesticated deer were even kept as livestock in some regions of China, functioning similarly to cattle and sheep.

The antlers, velvet, and musk of the deer were all used in traditional Chinese medicine as treatments for everything from rheumatism to impotence because of their purported healing properties. 

deer meaning in Chinese culture/deer symbolize in China

The deer is gentle and swift, graceful and spiritual, symbolizing beauty, love, auspiciousness, health, longevity, and power throughout Chinese history. Since ancient times, there has been a saying that “the deer is a divine animal that enjoys a peaceful nature, and its whole body benefits people.”

Resembling beauty

The ancients explained that “the deer is good at gathering and scattering and is all physically strong, but its courage is particularly timid, and it will run away when it sees its own reflection in the water.” It can be seen that the ancients’ attention and observation of deer were very careful, which laid the foundation for the development of deer culture.

The traditional character for “beauty” (美丽) is derived from the deer, indicating that people have regarded deer as beautiful from ancient times to the present.

Whether it is the unique antlers, the smooth and shiny fur with spots and patterns, or the slender and strong four legs, the gentle, graceful, and introverted temperament inherent in deer’s nature is particularly worthy of people’s praise.

Symbolizing auspiciousness and prosperity

Deer symbolizes auspiciousness and prosperity. In some auspicious patterns, one hundred deer together are called “hundred  Deer and bats together represent “double blessings of fortune and  Deer and the Chinese characters for “fortune” and “longevity” together represent “fortune, prosperity, and  Deer and cranes together represent “harmony and spring.”

Symbolizing Love

The oracle bone script for “deer” emphasizes a pair of antlers. “Shuowen Jiezi” states, “Deer travel around. When deer are hungry, they must travel.” From the idea of a male and female deer traveling together, the meaning of marriage is derived. The character “li” originally referred to the deer and its skin. In ancient times, when a man proposed marriage to a woman, he would send her two deer skins as a betrothal gift. Later, the meaning of “li” was extended to include beauty. “Tongjian Waiji” records, “In ancient times, men and women were the same. Taihao introduced marriage and used deer skin as a gift.” Later generations called spouses “kangli,” and deer skin was the material used for the gift.

Beauty is also described as being kind, gentle, and reserved, which originated from the meaning of “li.” In the past, there were two idioms: “deer pulling a cart together” praised a couple for being united and content with poverty, and “a deer cart at a grand banquet” described mutual respect, consideration, and shared joys and sorrows between spouses.

Representing Health and Longevity

Since ancient times, the promotion of human health by deer has progressed from the beginning of eating its meat, using its skin for sleeping, and using its bones to a more in-depth understanding. After a considerable period of time, “Kunyu” said, “Deer is a sacred animal that can please its nature. When it moves, it has saliva and does not rush.” It can be seen that ancient people believed that eating deer meat could prolong life and called the long-lived deer “xianlu.”

Referring to Power

The connection between deer and war can be traced back to ancient times. Because deer were the prey that people often chased and hunted in ancient times, Therefore, when people witnessed the ruling class chasing after power, they naturally associated it with the daily scene of hunting deer and used it as a metaphor to make deer symbolize power.

The historian Sima Qian said in “The Biography of the Marquis of Huaiyin” in “The Records of the Grand Historian,” “When Qin lost its deer, the whole world pursued it.” Wei Zheng, a Tang dynasty prime minister, also mentioned it in his poem “Shuohuai,” “The Central Plains initially chased deer, but later they became soldiers.”

Deer in Chinese History

For eons, deer have been pivotal figures in Chinese mythology, literature, and art. As a source of nourishment, garb, and cures, they have been depicted in Chinese art and literature.

Deer were depicted on bronze vessels during the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) and were thought to be a representation of the sun and the sky. Chariots drawn by deer were thought to be what carried the sun across the sky in ancient China, and the animals’ antlers were seen as symbols of the sun’s rays.

As a symbol of wealth and prosperity, deer were frequently depicted on silk paintings and other Han Dynasty (220 BC-220 AD) decorative items. Deer were highly prized for their antlers, which were used in traditional Chinese medicine due to the widespread belief that they possessed healing properties.

Hunting deer became a popular pastime for the Chinese aristocracy during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), and game reserves were set up all over the country. Deer were highly sought after as trophies, and hunting itself was seen as a symbol of bravery and skill.

To the Chinese, deer represented eternal life and youth. Daoist mythology describes an enchanted island where gods and immortals resided and where deer roamed freely to symbolize the cycle of life and death.

Venison was the meat of ancient China.

Venison, or deer meat, has been an important source of food in China for thousands of years. In ancient times, deer were hunted by the nobility for their meat, which was considered a delicacy, and by commoners for their hides, which were used to make clothing and other goods.

During the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC), hunting became an important pastime among the nobility, and deer were one of the most prized animals to hunt. The Book of Rites, a classic of Confucianism, described the elaborate rituals and protocols that were associated with hunting deer, which was considered a symbol of courage and skill.

Deer meat was also an important part of the Chinese diet and was often served at banquets and other special occasions. In the Book of Songs, a collection of ancient Chinese poetry, there are many references to the consumption of venison, including the famous line, “The stag is cooked with fragrant herbs and served in a vessel of gold.”

deer in Chinese mythology

The Père David’s deer is one of the lucky symbols in ancient China, known as the spotted dragon. According to records, the spotted dragon is a type of yang beast that can live up to 500 years. As a spirit beast, the qilin is also believed to have evolved from the deer.

In Chinese mythology, deer are said to be auspicious creatures that emerged from the dispersal of the Yao Guang stars in the sky. They are often seen with immortals, cranes, and lingzhi mushrooms, roaming among the mountains, protecting immortal herbs and mushrooms, and bestowing blessings and longevity on humanity. The Southern Pole Immortal, Lao Shouxing, even chose a deer as his mount.

Deer in Feng Shui

The feng shui meaning of the deer is one of long life, good fortune, and prosperity. When used in feng shui, the deer is thought to attract good fortune and positive energy to a property.

The feng shui meaning of the deer is that of a peaceful, happy, and harmonious animal. Some people believe that bringing a deer into their homes or workplaces will help create a more peaceful and harmonious atmosphere.

The deer has multiple functions in feng shui. Having an image or statue of a deer in a visible location is one common practice. Inviting good vibes and encouraging peace and tranquility are two benefits you may experience.

If you want to use the deer in feng shui in another way, consider incorporating it into the decor of your space. Wallpaper, fabric, and other home decor items featuring deer motifs are just a few examples. The natural beauty and harmony of the outdoors can be enhanced in a room by doing this.

In feng shui, the deer carries additional significance as an embodiment of the wood element. The element of wood stands for expansion, vigor, and rebirth. In feng shui, the deer is used to encourage the expansion and renewal of good chi.

However, the deer has many other applications in feng shui. It is commonly held that displaying an image or statue of a deer in the north or east quadrant of one’s home or workplace will bring about financial success and happiness. Putting a picture or statue of a deer in the southwest area is said to encourage romantic connections.

Object placement and orientation are also considered crucial in feng shui. It is thought, for instance, that a deer should be placed so that it faces the interior of a room rather than an exterior door or window. This may help keep good vibes from leaking out of the room.

Why is deer good luck in Chinese culture?

The deer is considered to be a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture for several reasons. Firstly, the Chinese word for deer, “lu”, sounds similar to the word for prosperity and wealth, making it a popular symbol for financial success and abundance.

Secondly, deer are believed to be auspicious animals that bring good fortune and longevity. They are often depicted in Chinese art and mythology as graceful and gentle creatures and are associated with the Daoist concept of immortality.

Finally, deer have historical and cultural significance in China. In ancient times, deer were valued for their meat, skins, and antlers, which were used for food, clothing, and medicine. They were also associated with hunting and warfare and were often used as a symbol of power and authority.

deer in Chinese medicine

In Chinese medicine, various parts of the deer are used for their supposed health benefits. Here are a few examples:

Deer antler velvet: This is the soft, fuzzy covering on the antlers of male deer. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and is used to treat arthritis, joint pain, and muscle soreness.

Deer musk: This is a glandular secretion produced by male deer. It is believed to have a warming effect on the body and is used to treat various conditions, such as asthma, depression, and sexual dysfunction.

Deer penis: This is dried and used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. It is believed to improve sexual performance and is used to treat impotence and other sexual dysfunctions.

Deer placenta: This is the tissue surrounding the fetus in female deer. It is believed to have anti-aging properties and is used in some cosmetic products and supplements.

It’s important to note that the use of these deer products in Chinese medicine is controversial and not universally accepted. Some people argue that the harvesting of these products is cruel and unsustainable and that there is little scientific evidence to support their use. Others believe that these products have been used for centuries and have a place in traditional medicine.

deer tail Chinese medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the tail of the deer is considered to be a valuable medicinal material with a wide range of therapeutic effects. Known as Lu Rong, it is believed to nourish the kidneys, tonify the yang, replenish the essence, and promote longevity.

According to TCM theory, the kidneys play a crucial role in regulating the body’s vital energy, or qi, and the balance of yin and yang. The kidneys also govern the reproductive system, growth and development, and the aging process. As a result, any deficiency in kidney qi and yang can lead to various health problems, including infertility, impotence, premature aging, and weakened immune function.

Deer tail is considered to be a potent tonic for the kidneys due to its rich content of essential nutrients, such as proteins, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. It is particularly valued for its high concentration of male hormones, including testosterone, which is believed to enhance sexual function and stamina as well as promote muscle growth and strength.

Additionally, deer tail is also believed to strengthen the bones and tendons, improve joint mobility, and alleviate pain and stiffness in the lower back and knees. It is often used in combination with other tonics, such as ginseng, astragalus, and cordyceps, to enhance their therapeutic effects and promote overall health and vitality.

In TCM, deer tail is usually prepared as a decoction or powder that can be taken orally or applied externally as a medicinal plaster. It is commonly used to treat a wide range of health conditions, including fatigue, weakness, infertility, impotence, premature ejaculation, low libido, back pain, knee pain, and joint stiffness.

However, as with any herbal medicine, it is important to consult a qualified TCM practitioner before using deer tail or any other medicinal herb, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications. Pregnant women and children should also avoid using deer tail or other tonics without proper guidance from a healthcare professional.

Deer antler Chinese medicine

One of the most prized components of TCM is deer antler. It has been used for over two thousand years as a medicine due to its supposed health benefits. Bone tissue known as deer antler develops on the antlers of male deer, typically during the warmer months of spring and summer.

Deer antler is a Yang tonic in traditional Chinese medicine, meaning it is thought to have warming properties and increase circulation and energy flow. It’s common practice to use it to alleviate aches and pains associated with aging, like those in the joints, and to increase vigor and endurance.

The endocrine system, and the reproductive system in particular, may benefit from exposure to deer antler. It’s thought to boost testosterone levels in men, which in turn improves their sexual health. It has been shown to improve reproductive health and alleviate menopause symptoms in women.

Deer antler has been shown to have beneficial effects on the endocrine system, and now there’s evidence that it can do the same for the immune system. It may help the body fight off infections and diseases by increasing the production of white blood cells.

A decoction is the most common method of preparing deer antler, which involves boiling the antler for several hours to extract its active ingredients. It is commonly used in combination with other herbs and ingredients to create individualized treatment plans.

It should be noted, however, that the use of deer antler in traditional Chinese medicine has become contentious in recent years, largely due to ethical concerns regarding animal treatment. Occasionally, live deer are killed to harvest their antlers, which raises ethical questions about the practice. As a result, many TCM doctors are looking for substitutes for deer antler or experimenting with different herbs and ingredients to achieve the same goals.

deer meat in Chinese medicine

Venison, or deer meat, has been used as a medicinal food in China for thousands of years. It has many positive health effects and is widely recognized as a wholesome food. According to TCM, eating deer helps strengthen qi and blood, builds stronger bones and muscles, and increases overall vitality.

You can get a lot of the nutrients you need, including iron, zinc, and phosphorus, from eating deer meat. According to traditional Chinese medicine, this can enhance sexual performance and fertility by tonifying the kidneys and nourishing the yin. There is evidence that eating deer meat can help with metabolic regulation, better digestion, and spleen and stomach strength.

Deer meat is valued in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for its therapeutic effects in addition to its nutritional value. Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting properties have been ascribed to it. Consuming deer meat may help with fatigue, weakness, and anemia. To improve overall health, it is often used in TCM to make tonics and soups with other herbs and foods.

In China, deer meat is considered a winter staple because of the belief that it can protect against illness and keep the body healthy while indoors. Because of its medicinal value, it is commonly combined with other ingredients like herbs, vegetables, and mushrooms in a stew or soup.

It’s important to note that not everyone can eat deer meat. In order to protect their health, those who suffer from hypertension, high cholesterol, or gout should not eat too much deer meat. It’s also crucial to check that the deer meat is cooked thoroughly to eliminate any possibility of food poisoning.

Due to its high nutritional value and therapeutic potential, deer meat is widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, and it is still widely consumed today.

deer musk in Chinese medicine

To the Chinese, deer musk is referred to as “Lurong,” and it is an essential component of TCM (TCM). The male musk deer of the Himalayas, Siberia, and elsewhere in the world’s mountain ranges secrete this substance. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), deer musk can help with a variety of health issues, such as boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and relieving pain.

In TCM, deer musk is valued for its ability to improve cardiovascular health. It may help the heart pump more efficiently and have other beneficial effects on circulation. Because of its potential anti-inflammatory effects, deer musk may also be useful in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Deer musk is also valued for its analgesic effects in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been found to be helpful in reducing pain, especially in cases of chronic pain like arthritis and backache. Some believe that smelling deer musk can help alleviate pain by triggering the body’s own pain-relieving mechanisms.

It has been theorized that the musk of deer can strengthen one’s immune system. It may help the body’s defenses against disease and infection by increasing the output of white blood cells. This makes it a helpful component for people with compromised immune systems or those who are nursing an illness.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, deer musk is most often utilized in the form of a powder or tincture. Formulas containing it typically include a number of other herbs and ingredients, each chosen for its potential to address a different health issue. Use of deer musk in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has become increasingly contentious in recent years due to concerns about the long-term viability of the musk deer population. Consequently, many medical professionals are looking for substitute ingredients that can offer the same therapeutic benefits as deer musk without the ethical issues that come with using it.

Deer penis in Chinese medicine

Deer penis, also known as “lu rong” in Chinese, is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) ingredient that has been used for thousands of years. It is believed to have a variety of health benefits, particularly for the male reproductive system.

According to TCM theory, deer penis is believed to have a warming effect on the body, which can help to improve circulation and enhance sexual function. It is believed to tonify the kidney and improve the yang, or masculine energy, of the body. It is also believed to nourish the blood and support the immune system.

Deer penis is typically prepared as a tonic or soup. It is often combined with other TCM ingredients, such as ginseng, goji berries, and astragalus root, to create a nourishing and tonifying tonic. It can also be cooked into a soup with other ingredients, such as chicken and Chinese yam, to nourish the body and support overall health.

While there is some anecdotal evidence to support the use of deer penis in TCM, there is limited scientific research to validate its purported health benefits. Some studies have shown that deer penis extract may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which could support its use in TCM. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and determine the optimal dosages and formulations for therapeutic use.

It should be noted that the use of deer penises in TCM has been controversial due to ethical concerns around the harvesting of deer antlers and penises. In recent years, there has been a growing movement towards more sustainable and ethical practices in the TCM industry, with many practitioners and manufacturers seeking out alternative ingredients and methods of production.

Overall, while deer penis has a long history of use in TCM, it is important to consult with a qualified TCM practitioner before using it for medicinal purposes. They can help to assess your individual health needs and determine the best course of treatment for your specific condition.

deer placenta in Chinese medicine

There is a long history of using deer placenta as a remedy for a variety of health issues in traditional Chinese medicine. People believe it can help strengthen their immune systems, give them more stamina, and even boost their fertility.

Proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are all essential to good health, and traditional Chinese medicine recognizes the deer placenta as a rich source of these nutrients. Consuming deer placenta is thought to improve overall health and vitality by strengthening the body’s Qi (life energy) and nourishing the blood.

Commonly used as a tonic for the reproductive system, deer placenta has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Hormonal imbalances and healthy fertility in both sexes are reportedly helped by this. Particularly, deer placenta is recommended for women who are trying to conceive or who are having fertility issues. It’s thought to help couples conceive more easily and promote healthy development in the fetus once they do.

It is believed that deer placenta can help the skin in addition to helping the fetus. It is believed that by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, it will aid in the promotion of healthy skin. Due to its anti-aging properties, deer placenta is widely used in TCM.

In sum, deer placenta is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine for a number of reasons. It may aid in increasing energy and supporting general vitality, and it is thought to be of special benefit to the reproductive system and the skin. Deer placenta is widely used and respected in traditional Chinese medicine and is thought to be a safe and effective treatment for a variety of health issues, though more research is needed to fully understand its effects. 

Why do Chinese dragons have antlers?


For millennia, people in China have held the mythical creature known as the Chinese dragon in the highest regard. Dragons in traditional Chinese art and folklore are often depicted with antlers, a distinguishing feature from other cultures’ depictions of dragons.

The horns, or antlers, of Chinese dragons are a cultural symbol with multiple interpretations. The dragon’s horns are often taken to symbolize the creature’s moral compass and ability to tell good from evil. In Chinese mythology, dragons are revered as divine creatures endowed with wisdom and power, qualities symbolized by the dragon’s antlers.

The horns may also be interpreted as the source of the dragon’s cosmic energy, which is thought to emerge from the crown of its head. The “bai hui” point, located here, is said to promote enlightenment and rational thought according to traditional Chinese medicine. Dragons have horns to represent their link to the heavenly realm and their ability to bring cosmic energy to Earth.

In addition, the spiral form of a Chinese dragon’s antlers is a symbol of development and progress in art. This is symbolic of the dragon’s ability to change and evolve over time, much like a deer’s antlers develop and transform over time.

Why deer are not in the Chinese zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac is a cycle of twelve animals, each of which represents a year. Rats, oxen, tigers, rabbits, dragons, snakes, horses, sheep, monkeys, roosters, dogs, and pigs are among these creatures. These animals were carefully chosen over a long period of time because of their cultural significance. However, among the animals represented in the Chinese Zodiac, the deer is not one of them.

Several factors may have contributed to the deer’s exclusion from the Chinese Zodiac. Perhaps the deer wasn’t chosen because of its cultural significance in ancient China, but because it was more common than the other animals. There are other animals, such as sheep and horses, that can stand in for the qualities that were once thought to be unique to deer.

The deer continues to serve as a symbol of good fortune, long life, and wealth in Chinese culture today. Its significance, however, is independent of the Chinese zodiac. Rather, the deer is frequently represented in art, literature, and other forms of cultural expression. Deer are frequently depicted in traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, and the poet Li Bai of the Tang dynasty wrote several poems about them and their graceful movements.

Even though the deer isn’t an official member of the Chinese Zodiac, it is still widely recognized and revered as a cultural icon in China for its symbolic meaning and graceful beauty.

is a deer a kylin

Deer are not Kylin (also known as Qilin or Kirin), which is a mythical creature in Chinese culture that is often depicted as a combination of different animals such as a deer, dragon, and ox. It is said to be a symbol of good luck, prosperity, and happiness.

The Kylin is typically portrayed as having deer-like antlers, but it is not a deer itself. In Chinese mythology, the Kylin is considered one of the four auspicious beasts, along with the dragon, phoenix, and tortoise. The Kylin is also associated with the element of fire and is believed to bring good fortune and ward off evil spirits.

While deer do have a significant presence in Chinese culture, they are not typically associated with the Kylin or included in the Chinese zodiac. Instead, the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal is believed to have specific characteristics and attributes that influence the personality and destiny of people born in that year.

deer vs. giraffe


While both the deer and the giraffe are classified as ungulates, there are significant differences between the two species.

Typically standing at a height of 5 to 5.5 meters, giraffes hold the title of “tallest mammal on Earth” (18 feet). They use their long necks, which can stretch up to 0.6 mi (2 m), to access foliage and blossoms on trees that are too high for them to reach. Thanks to the length of their legs, they can travel great distances with ease and speed. Giraffes are easily recognizable thanks to their spotted coats and their two ossicones (miniature horns).

Deer, on the other hand, are considerably more diminutive, with an average height of only 1.5 meters (5 feet) and a maximum weight of up to 90 kg (200 pounds). They don’t have giraffes’ long necks or legs, but their bodies are more compact and muscular. Depending on the species, deer can have any number of different coat colors and patterns. Their antlers, which are actually extensions of their skull bones, constantly grow and fall off. The antlers serve several purposes, including defense, ornamentation, and mating attraction.

Giraffes are distributed across the African savannas and grasslands, while deer can be found in forests and woodlands all over the globe. Both giraffes and deer are herbivores, eating grasses, leaves, and fruit; giraffes prefer the leaves and flowers of tall trees, while deer prefer the fruits and leaves of the ground.

Despite their shared interest, deer and giraffes are very different animals.

deer vs. dragon

Deer and dragons are two very different creatures, both in terms of physical characteristics and cultural significance. Here are some key differences between deer and dragons:

  • Physical Characteristics: Deer are mammals with four legs and hooves. They typically have a slender body with a short tail and are known for their antlers. Dragons, on the other hand, are mythical creatures typically depicted with a serpent-like body, wings, and claws.
  • Cultural Significance: Deer and dragons also differ greatly in their cultural significance. Deer are often associated with gentleness, grace, and longevity in Chinese culture, while dragons represent power, strength, and good fortune. Dragons are a symbol of the emperor in Chinese culture and have been used to represent imperial power for thousands of years.
  • Historical Representations: In Chinese art and literature, deer are often depicted in naturalistic settings, while dragons are depicted in more fantastical settings. Dragons are often shown in action, breathing fire and battling other creatures, while deer are shown in more peaceful scenes, grazing in the forest or being admired for their beauty.

In summary, deer and dragons are very different creatures with different physical characteristics and cultural significance. While deer represent gentleness and longevity, dragons represent power and good fortune.

deer vs. Kylin

Deer and Kylin are two different creatures from Chinese mythology and folklore. Deer, also known as Lu, is a common animal in Chinese culture, often portrayed as a symbol of wealth, longevity, and good fortune. The Kylin, also known as Qilin or Kirin, is a mythical creature with the head of a dragon or deer, the body of a lion, and the scales of a fish.

In Chinese mythology, the Kylin is considered a symbol of good luck, prosperity, and serenity. It is believed to be a benevolent creature that only appears in times of peace and prosperity, and it is said to bring happiness and good fortune wherever it goes. The Kylin is also associated with wisdom, as it is believed to be able to distinguish between good and evil and to only appear to those who are pure of heart.

Deer, on the other hand, is a real animal that is native to China and is often depicted in art and literature. It is considered a symbol of good fortune and wealth because the Chinese word for deer, “lu,” sounds similar to the word for prosperity. In traditional Chinese medicine, deer antlers are also used for their supposed medicinal properties.

In summary, while both deer and Kylin have positive connotations in Chinese culture, the Kylin is a mythical creature with a mixture of features from different animals, while the deer is a real animal that is commonly found in China and is associated with wealth and longevity.

Chinese water deer vs. muntjac

Chinese water deer and muntjac are both small deer species native to Asia.

Chinese water deer are primarily found in eastern China and Korea, while muntjac are found throughout much of Asia, including India, Southeast Asia, and parts of China.

Chinese water deer are known for their distinctive tusks, which are actually elongated canine teeth that protrude from the upper jaw. Muntjac, on the other hand, have small antlers and no tusks.

Chinese water deer are also known for their preference for aquatic habitats, such as marshes, swamps, and riverbanks, while muntjac are more commonly found in forests and woodland areas.

In terms of size, Chinese water deer are slightly larger than muntjac, with males weighing between 11 and 18kg and females weighing between 9 and 14kg, while muntjac generally weigh between 10 and 18kg.

Both species are considered invasive in some parts of the world, including the UK, where they were introduced for sport hunting purposes.

white deer in China

The white deer has deep symbolic and cultural significance in Chinese mythology. Many people think of this animal as a divine being who can grant them eternal life and wealth. In Taoism, the white deer is often associated with the immortals, and is seen as a messenger of the gods.

The White Deer Grotto Academy was a renowned educational institution in China during the Ming dynasty, and its legend is one of the best-known involving a white deer. According to folklore, the academy’s namesake and founder, Wang Yangming, encountered a white deer while hiking in the mountains. Following the deer’s trail, he found a cave containing ancient texts that would form the basis of his teachings.

The white deer is another significant icon in Chinese art and literature. Art, poetry, and prose frequently portray it in a noble and elegant light. The white deer is frequently depicted in traditional Chinese paintings, often in tranquil landscapes or with Taoist immortals.

The white deer has evolved into a modern-day symbol of conservation in China. Because of their rarity and cultural significance in China, white deer are protected. Efforts have been made to protect their habitats and raise public awareness of the species.

The white deer is revered in Chinese culture for its symbolic meaning, natural beauty, and mystical significance. 

chinese idioms about deer

指鹿为马(zhǐ lù wéi mǎ): point to a deer and call it a horse

After the death of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, his son Qin Er Shi ascended to the throne, and Eunuch Zhao Gao became increasingly ambitious and plotted to seize the throne. However, he was unsure of how many of the court officials would follow his wishes, and how many would oppose him. So he came up with a plan to test his prestige and find out who dared to oppose him.

One day, while attending court, Zhao Gao brought a deer to the grand hall and said to Qin Er Shi, “I have a fine horse to present to Your Majesty.” Qin Er Shi took one look at the deer and laughed, saying, “Prime Minister, are you confused? This is clearly a deer!” But Zhao Gao loudly replied, “If Your Majesty does not believe me, you can ask the other ministers.”

The court officials below all thought to themselves: it’s clearly a deer, why is Zhao Gao trying to pass it off as a horse? But those who usually followed Zhao Gao immediately supported his claim, exclaiming, “The Prime Minister is right, it’s truly a fine horse!” There were a few who dared to speak the truth and disagreed, but their numbers were small and their voices were low. The timid and fearful officials kept leaning towards Zhao Gao’s side. As a result, the sound of “fine horse” overwhelmingly dominated the grand hall, causing even Qin Er Shi to waver and wonder if he was mistaken, and ultimately he believed that it might indeed be a horse. Later on, the officials who dared to speak the truth and say it was a deer were killed by Zhao Gao through various means.

This story has been passed down, and people use the phrase “pointing at a deer and calling it a horse” to describe those who rely on their power to deliberately distort the truth and confuse people’s perceptions to achieve their own nefarious purposes. Some people collude with them, while others are intimidated by their tyranny and cannot distinguish right from wrong, thus assisting the tyrants.

逐鹿中原(zhú lù zhōng yuán): fight for territory in ancient central China

“Chasing Deer in Central Plains” is an idiom originating from a historical story. The idiom’s relevant allusion is first recorded in the “Biography of Marquis of Huaiyin” in Sima Qian’s “Records of the Grand Historian” during the Western Han Dynasty.

At the end of the Qin Dynasty, Han Xin, a great general of Liu Bang, was highly valued but suspected by Liu Bang. Han Xin had a strategist named Kuai Tong, who urged Han Xin to become a king and divide the world into three parts with Liu Bang and Xiang Yu. Otherwise, if he remained a subordinate, he would be subject to the awe of his master, and it would lead to his own demise. However, Han Xin did not follow Kuai Tong’s advice because he felt grateful for Liu Bang’s favor towards him.

After the establishment of the Han Dynasty, Han Xin became dissatisfied with the sluggishness of the founding emperor, Liu Bang, and plotted a rebellion, which resulted in his own demise. After the failure of his rebellion, Han Xin regretted his decision and repeatedly said, “I regret not following Kuai Tong’s plan.” When Liu Bang learned of this, he arrested Kuai Tong and personally interrogated him, asking, “Did you instigate Han Xin to rebel?” “Yes, I suggested that he become a king, but that guy didn’t listen to my advice and brought about his own downfall,” Kuai Tong replied disappointedly.

Liu Bang became furious and ordered his guards to take Kuai Tong out and execute him. However, Kuai Tong shouted that he was innocent. “Kuai Tong, did you instigate Han Xin’s rebellion? What innocence do you have?” Liu Bang asked. Kuai Tong replied, “At that time, the situation was like the king of Qin losing a deer. Heroes and brave men from all over the world came to chase and capture it, and those with superior abilities and speed would catch it first. All of us were heroes and brave men. As the saying goes, even the dog of the bandit Zhuo could bark in front of the sage Yao. This does not mean that Yao was an unrighteous person, but because it was not his dog. As a subordinate, I only knew that Han Xin was my master, and it was natural for me to provide him with advice and strategy. There are countless people who have the opportunity to serve your majesty, so can you execute them all?” Liu Bang found Kuai Tong’s argument reasonable and eventually pardoned him.

chinese place names about deer

巨鹿Julu: The meaning of Julu itself is a large foothill, referring to a large area of ​​water marshes. In ancient times, there was a famous freshwater lake in the plains area near Xingtai. For this reason, the locals were called Julu.

涿鹿Zhuolu: Before the Qin Dynasty, Zhuolu was called Dulou. Because there was a mountain that resembled a running spotted deer, it was named Dulou. Later, because there was a spring flowing at the foot of the mountain, it was also called Zhuolu, and the mountain was named Zhuolu Mountain. The “Zhuolu Field” where the Yellow Emperor fought against Chiyou in the “Records of the Grand Historian” refers to this place; the “city at the foot of Zhuolu” is today’s ancient city, roughly located in Fanshan, 30 kilometers southeast of today’s Zhuolu County.

鹿邑Luyi: During the Sui Dynasty, Emperor Wen of Sui changed the name of the county to Luyi because there were many deer nearby and deer calls could often be heard.

鹿泉Luquan: Originally named Huolu County, Luquan’s name is related to Han Xin’s battle here. Legend has it that Han Xin fought here, shot a deer and got spring water, so it was called Luquan.

In conclusion, the deer holds great significance in Chinese culture and is associated with various virtues, such as good luck, longevity, prosperity, purity, grace, and gentleness. Its symbolism is deeply ingrained in Chinese mythology, art, and literature and continues to be a popular motif in Chinese culture today.

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