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published: 1/18/05
updated: 12/16/13

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Chinese Religious Symbols

Chinese religion is rich with symbolism. The most well-known Chinese religious symbol is the yin-yang, which is especially associated with Taoism.

Symbolic Foods

Feasting is central to Chinese religious practice, and most foods have a symbolic meaning and ceremonial importance. Some examples include:

  • mandarin oranges are a symbol of wealth and good fortune
  • Red Jujubes (also called "Chinese Dates") are a symbol of prosperity
  • whole steamed fish are a symbol of long life and good fortune
  • uncut noodles are a symbol of longevity
  • baked goods with seeds are a symbol of fertility

Chinese Religious Symbolism