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Quiz about The Symbology of Chinese Red
Quiz about The Symbology of Chinese Red

The Symbology of Chinese Red Trivia Quiz


One may be familiar with the term "Red China", but in Chinese culture the color has a much broader range of significance.

A multiple-choice quiz by trident. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
trident
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
368,161
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
267
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. Red is a very lucky and auspicious color in traditional Chinese culture and is overwhelmingly present in centuries of Chinese artwork. Artisans would grind down the mineral cinnabar into a powder and make what pigment, which is also known as "Chinese Red"? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Chinese metaphysics holds that there are five basic elements represented by five different colors. For example, the element "water" is represented by the color black. What element is represented by red? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. There are situations in which decorating with and wearing red are extremely common in Chinese culture. In which of the following situations would someone likely NOT wear red? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. The five elements can also be applied to the seasons, with the yellow element representing the change between seasons. What season does red represent? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. In Chinese astrology, five of the planets are keyed to the traditional five Chinese elements. The red element finds its partner in which planet? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. While red is considered a joyous color, there is one anomaly in Asian history that has led to a superstition that is still prevalent in countries like China, Korea, and Japan. What should you NOT do in these cultures? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The Chinese constellations are separated into four groups known as the Four Symbols. Each symbol is a "heavenly creature" which represents a season and a cardinal direction. Which heavenly creature is represented by the red symbol? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Which of the following items would most NOT likely be colored red according to Chinese cultural traditions? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Red was long a common color of Buddhist garb in China which was colored with various natural dyes. However, red-colored monk's robes are mostly seen and associated with what region? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The Communist Party in China adopted the color red as a symbol when it was founded in 1921. What does the color red symbolize to the party? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Red is a very lucky and auspicious color in traditional Chinese culture and is overwhelmingly present in centuries of Chinese artwork. Artisans would grind down the mineral cinnabar into a powder and make what pigment, which is also known as "Chinese Red"?

Answer: Vermilion

Chinese lacquered artworks were exported around the world and became famous for their bright vermilion color. In the seventeenth century, traders began to bring the Chinese version of vermilion back to Europe, as the Chinese version was seen as superior to the European version.
2. Chinese metaphysics holds that there are five basic elements represented by five different colors. For example, the element "water" is represented by the color black. What element is represented by red?

Answer: Fire

The five elements include fire, water, earth, wood, and metal. Red represents fire, which is energetic and full of life. This element is very lively and passionate.
3. There are situations in which decorating with and wearing red are extremely common in Chinese culture. In which of the following situations would someone likely NOT wear red?

Answer: At a funeral

Red is considered a color to be cherished during joyous events. Chinese wedding dresses are typically red, much like Western wedding dresses are white, though many weddings are now celebrated by wearing dark colors. During holidays, red decorations are displayed everywhere to help celebrate.

However, at a funeral it is generally seen as unbecoming to wear red, as funerals are not generally joyous events and wearing red could be seen as celebrating that person's death.
4. The five elements can also be applied to the seasons, with the yellow element representing the change between seasons. What season does red represent?

Answer: Summer

As summer is full of life and joy, it is considered the season which the auspicious red represents. Spring is represented by green, autumn by white, and winter by black.
5. In Chinese astrology, five of the planets are keyed to the traditional five Chinese elements. The red element finds its partner in which planet?

Answer: Mars

Unsurprisingly, the red planet Mars would be partnered with the red element. Venus is partnered with white, Mercury is partnered with black, Saturn is partnered with yellow, and interestingly Jupiter is partnered with green.
6. While red is considered a joyous color, there is one anomaly in Asian history that has led to a superstition that is still prevalent in countries like China, Korea, and Japan. What should you NOT do in these cultures?

Answer: Write a person's name in red

In dynastic China, names written in official capacities were written in red. This might not seem harmful, but one of the official capacities was to keep track of the deceased and their names were written in red ink or on gravestones with red lettering.

Today, writing a Chinese person's name in red ink signifies that you think they will die soon or that you want them to die. It's a very rude expression.

Many an exchange teacher has learned it might be best to leave that red marker in the basket when they're writing their students' names on the board.
7. The Chinese constellations are separated into four groups known as the Four Symbols. Each symbol is a "heavenly creature" which represents a season and a cardinal direction. Which heavenly creature is represented by the red symbol?

Answer: Vermilion Bird of the South

Chinese constellations are much different from Greco-inspired constellations. The only similarities between the two group are the Little Dipper and Orion, otherwise the patterns are not consistent between the cultures at all.

The Vermilion Bird of the South is not to be mistaken with the Fenghuang, which is a phoenix-like bird associated with Chinese empresses.
8. Which of the following items would most NOT likely be colored red according to Chinese cultural traditions?

Answer: A qing opera costume

By definition, the color of qing (pronounced "ching") is a greenish-bluish-gray. There is a large variety in terms of what color can be considered qing. The color is famously worn by the "Qingyi" or "virtuous lady" that can be seen in Chinese operas (the word itself means "green robes").

Imperial seals were very often red in Chinese history, as are the lanterns used to decorate, especially during the Lunar New Year. Red gift envelopes are given during happy occasions, while white gift envelopes are usually given during funerals.
9. Red was long a common color of Buddhist garb in China which was colored with various natural dyes. However, red-colored monk's robes are mostly seen and associated with what region?

Answer: Tibet

Buddhist monks were not to purchase their own clothing, but only to take material that was unwanted and unused. After finding such material, it was cleaned and dyed. In Tibet, the color red can be associated with poverty and was often the cheapest-colored dye available.

Chinese Buddhist monks often wore red throughout history, along with many other colors including yellow, orange, and gray.
10. The Communist Party in China adopted the color red as a symbol when it was founded in 1921. What does the color red symbolize to the party?

Answer: Revolution

The significance of the Communist Party's choice of red as a favored color was less influenced by traditional Chinese culture, but instead by the use of red by Soviet Communists to represent revolution. Though the Chinese had never equated the two, it was convenient for the Chinese Communist Party to adopt red as its ruling color since the color was so culturally significant already. Now red is conflated to have a meaning that wavers somewhere between the traditional and modern ideas of the color.
Source: Author trident

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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