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

By Wolfram Eberhard

This distinct and authoritative consultant describes greater than four hundred vital 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 existence are traced lucidly and precisely.`An excellent reference e-book to aid one examine and discover extra, whereas at the same time giving larger perception into many different points of chinese language lifestyles ... the main authoritative consultant to chinese language symbolism to be had to the final reader this day ... a well-researched, informative and pleasing consultant to the treasure trove of chinese language symbols.' - South China Morning put up

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If a son died in infancy, the next son to be born was given a girl’s name: this was to fool the demons long enough for the boy to gain strength and be safe from them. Marriages were celebrated in the ‘Hall of Ancestors’ or in the reception room, the main room of the ordinary house, and here too the ‘great’ birthdays of the parents – especially the sixtieth, seventieth and eightieth – were celebrated. ’ From the 8th century onwards, there are many accounts of imperial birthdays. From 907 on, officials were given special leave on their birthdays if these fell on the days preceding and following the Emperor’s birthday.

A woman bathed before entering a wash oneself before going on pilgrimage; and both bride nunnery. It is customary to and bridegroom take a bath on the eve of the wedding. In the Middle Ages, statues of Buddha in temples were washed on the 8th day of the 12th month; and the bath-houses in monasteries were open for public use on the same day – the day when, according to tradition, Prince Gautama became the Buddha. It was also the eve of the great annual rite of exorcism, when the city was washed clean of evil.

E. ‘the woman who sweeps everything clean’) is often represented as a woman with a broom; she is the goddess of fair weather, as she sweeps away clouds and rain. She is especially venerated at the New Year festivities. The ‘foundling’ Shi-de, friend and confidant of the poet Han Shan, is also often shown holding a broom and laughing, as he has just been sweeping out the monastery kitchen. Of this ‘saint’ it is told that ‘he shouted and ranted and annoyed people. Then again he would stare into space and laugh wildly.

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