What do the colors of Chinese dragons mean?

Answer

The colors of Chinese dragons — white, black, red, yellow and green — represent the five elements, water, fire, wind, earth and the cosmos and are associated with different emotions and characteristics. Each of the five base colors in the Five Elements Theory holds a special and unique meaning.

Chinese dragons embody one, two or even all of the shades of color representing the five elements. Originally, under the Taoist system of belief, white and black, also called yin and yang, were the two colors ascribed religious or spiritual meaning. However, the establishment of the Five Elements Theory gave symbolic meaning to the colors green, red and yellow too. Each color represents one of five elements: earth, wind, fire, water and the cosmos, and has several different associations. The color yellow symbolizes energy and prosperity, as well as balance. Black is one of the most complex colors. It represents the element water, as well as the cardinal direction of north and the winter season. It also symbolizes calm, peace, reflection and tranquility and is associated with the act of listening.

Green represents new growth, life and vitality. It indicates self-assurance, strength, harmony and sensitivity and represents the cardinal direction of the east. Red is thought to be a lucky color, bringing good fortune to those who wear it. Red represents the element of fire and the cardinal direction of south. The color white indicates mourning and reflection; it also symbolizes purity, strength and the spirits. White is associated with the season of autumn and represents the direction of the west.

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