Chinese Moon Symbols

Discover the various aspects of Chinese culture that revolve around Chinese moon symbols.

As beautiful as the full moon looks it comes into its full form only for a short night and spends the rest of the days in its waxing and waning phases. The Chinese moon symbols derive their inspiration from the natural cycle of the moon.

Although designed a long time ago the Chinese moon symbols are still considered to be part of the huge collection of Chinese characters. The moon symbol is known as the Yue. The pictographic image shows the image of a Yue which is supposed to be the new moon suspended in the sky. A vertical stroke was gradually incorporated into the design after some time.

The Chinese Perception of the Moon

Traditionally the Chinese have always associated the moon with the female principle which is referred to as Yin. In fact there is a very famous legend regarding the moon symbol which floats in ancient Chinese tradition.

It is a story about the moon deity Chang-E who was believed to be a woman arising from the west. She had a moon palace that was called Guang-Han and actually meant wild coldness.

The ancient tradition of mutilating the feet of women by binding them together was something appreciated for its beauty and compared with the new moon. The Chinese would even compare the eyebrows of women with the image of the moon.

There are many other aspects associated with the Chinese moon symbols according to Chinese tradition. The west in general as well as the autumn season were both considered to be female. The moon was believed to reach its zenith of beauty in the autumn season.

Alternatively the Chinese would sometimes make use of the moon symbols to represent the execution of criminals. This was due to the dying nature of the receding moon. On the other hand you have those days when the moon symbol was used to represent the Empress as a compliment to the emperor who was represented by the symbol of the sun.

Whereas the earth revolved around the sun, it seems the Chinese culture revolves around the moon. There are so many aspects in the Chinese culture that are in some way or another linked with the moon. Take for example the very calendar which the Chinese people have used for centuries.

Unlike the western solar calendar the Chinese make use of the lunar calendar which works according to the cycle of the moon. The new moon represents the new month and the full moon is smack in the centre of the month.

The mid autumn festival is also celebrated in reverence of the moon as it is actually known as the feast of the moon. A special sacrifice to the moon is made during this festival. The feast of the moon festival is a rather elaborate festival with many traditions of its own.

The moon is till today one of the most prominent and potent symbols amongst the vast collection of Chinese characters. It has undergone very minute changes over the years and continues to be used in Chinese writing and arts today.

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