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Cyan in Chinese Culture

Updated: Jan 3, 2019

Cyan is a lucky color in Chinese culture, which represents hope and honor. In Chinese mythology, Cyan Dragon is in charge of the east section of the heave, the department of spring, nature and vital wood.

In the Qin Dynasty (221 B. C. — 207 B. C.), commanded by Emperor Qin Shi Huang, only senior officers could wear cyan robe. In the next Han Dynasty (220 B. C. — 220), officers wore cyan robes in the spring, and gates of Empire Han’s capital city were colored Cyan.

Gradually, color purple and red outranked cyan in the history of China, until the Qing Dynasty (1636 — 1912) when all officers wore cyan robes. In the meanwhile, robe of Taoism Religion also used cyan as the main color.

Cyan Robe of Taoism Religion

Since cyan is the color of the nature, it is widely used to describe beautiful landscapes, like mountains and lakes, in Chinese literature and porcelain. The most artsy emperor in history of China Zhao Ji (also respected Emperor Huizong of Song) invented a type of porcelain using cyan color, and named this specific color “Clear Sky After Rain”.

Porcelain of color "Clear Sky After Rain"

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