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Hanging Chinese Lantern PNG Transparent Images

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Submitted by on Mar 8, 2020

Although Chinese lanterns were mainly used at important times of the year for celebrations, they are more than just decorative pieces. Since 250 B.C. the hanging lanterns symbolized important events such as birth, death, imminent danger, and even social status.

At one point in history, during the Cultural Revolution, hanging lanterns were banned in China. Today, however, Chinese lanterns are again the aesthetic complement to a wide variety of ceremonies and celebrations – their popularity has grown beyond China to add extra sparkle to any special occasion around the world.

Usually made of delicate rice paper and bamboo ribbing, the Chinese lanterns are hung from the ceiling and lit from the inside to create a warm glow. They are also sometimes released to float in the sky as a mark of ongoing festivities.

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Nowadays, hanging lanterns are sold in a wide variety of sizes and colors to suit your decor and your mood. One of their most unique colors is black – the meaning of this color in Chinese culture, art, and physics symbolizes the element of water. In this framework, red is associated with fire, blue-green with wood, white with metal, and yellow with the earth. The Chinese emperors relied heavily on the “theory of the five elements” to select the colors representing the Tang, Zhou, and Qin Dynasties.

In contrast to Western culture, which sees black as the color of death or literally as darkness, Chinese culture defines black as a neutral color. The I Ching, or Book of Changes, which is one of the most important ancient books to come out of China, considers black as the color of the sky. In fact, there is a saying in the text which translates to “heaven and earth of a mysterious black,” which comes from the observation that the sky of northern China has been very dark for a long period of time. This follows with the Chinese belief that the dwelling place of Tian Di, the Heavenly emperor, was in the North Star.

Indeed, ancient China saw the color black as the highest of all colors. To demonstrate its importance, the famous Chinese symbol of Taiji uses black and white to symbolize the unity and the dynamic of balancing the yin (earthly or feminine energy) and the yang (sky or male energy), without which life as we know it could not exist. In addition, the important ancient Chinese mystic and philosopher Laozu chose black as the color to represent the Dao belief system, which essentially describes the essential workings of the universe.

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