Fire Phoenix Picture

In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is the symbol of high virtue and grace, of power and prosperity. It represents the union of yin and yang. It was thought to be a gentle creature, alighting so gently that it crushed nothing, and eating only dewdrops.

It symbolized the Empress usually in a pairing with a dragon (the dragon representing the Emperor), and only Empress could wear the phoenix symbol. The phoenix represented power sent from the heavens to the Empress.

If a phoenix was used to decorate a house it symbolized that loyalty and honesty was in the people that lived there. Jewelry with the phoenix design showed that the wearer was a person of high moral values, and so the phoenix could only be worn by people of great importance. The Chinese phoenix was thought to have the beak of a cock, the face of a swallow, the neck of a snake, the breast of a goose, the back of a tortoise, hindquarters of a stag and the tail of a fish.

Taken at the Chinese Lantern Festival (Toronto 2006)
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