Download A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: hidden symbols in Chinese by Wolfram Eberhard PDF

By Wolfram Eberhard

This targeted and authoritative consultant describes greater than four hundred very important chinese language symbols, explaining their esoteric meanings and connections. Their use and improvement in chinese language literature and in chinese language customs and attitudes to lifestyles are traced lucidly and precisely.`An excellent reference e-book to assist one examine and discover additional, whereas at the same time giving better perception into many different facets of chinese language existence ... the main authoritative consultant to chinese language symbolism on hand to the overall reader this day ... a well-researched, informative and pleasing advisor to the treasure trove of chinese language symbols.' - South China Morning submit

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Sample text

It was the practice of the South Chinese coast and in Taiwan, on certain days of the year, to fashion large boats out of paper and thin boards, which were set on fire and pushed out to sea. These were supposed to carry plague away with them. A seaworthy boat carrying a picture of the Plague-god (Wang-gong) was launched: at the point where it made landfall, a temple was built to the god. A ‘dry-boat’ (han-chuan) is the frame of a boat without a bottom, which one or two men can carry along, so that it looks as though it is being rowed.

A-Z 57 Today, as far as ordinary people are concerned, Buddhism is largely a way of understanding and coping with death; and this means that it is usually the elderly who take any interest in it. Monks conduct services for the dead and coffins are often kept for years in Buddhist temples, as are the family plaques of those who have died young. The skeletons of unknown people and of foreigners are kept in special chambers near the temple. Formerly, the corpses of practising Buddhists were burned rather than buried, and the present government has opted for cremation, though for reasons unconnected with Buddhism.

The ‘blue bird’ is a messenger from any messenger. Boat chuan A picture showing two children pulling behind them a wooden boat on wheels containing hat a cap of office, an official’s sash and a pomegranate, is a pictorial riddle. The official (guan), as does the sash (dai); the boat (chuan) (guan) symbolises an pomegranate (liu) means means ‘from generation to generation’ (chuan), while the ‘to flow, transmit’ (liu). Thus, the riddle expresses the wish that the recipient of this picture may receive the cap and sash of an official: that is, attain an official post, and that the same state of affairs may be extended to his progeny.

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