Ancient China Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang is a popular Chinese principle that is perhaps best illustrated by the black-and-white circular symbol.

The concept which can be traced back to 3rd century B.C.E. or earlier simply indicates that all things exist as contradictory opposites and inseparable.

In general, the Yin Yang principle is a fundamental concept in Chinese culture and philosophy.

Legend has it that both Yin and Yang were born from the identical chaos that built the Earth.

As their elements united, Yin and Yang formed the center of the Earth and subsequently promoted balance and harmony.

The earliest evidence of the Yin and Yang symbols has been seen on a variety of animal skeletons that were used in China for divination.Yin is sometimes described as feminine and someone who provides spirit to all things.

Typically, Yin is represented by a tiger, a broken line in the trigrams of the Book of Changes, and the color orange.

In addition, the Taoists favor Yin over Yang as it emphasizes reclusion and spiritual retreat. By the same token, it also reaches the height of its influence during the winter solstice.

Yang, on the other hand, is commonly referred to as masculine and the one who provides forms to all living things in the world.

It is commonly represented by a solid line trigram, a dragon, or the color blue. Dissimilar to Yin, Yang reaches its peak of influence during the summer solstice.

In addition, Yang was also the prime focus of the Confucianism philosophy citing that the symbol pertains to the importance of engagement in life.

Qi forms

Interesting Facts about Yin and Yang

  • The philosophy of Yin Yang reached its peak during the Zhou dynasty when it was closely linked with the principle of Qi or vital energy.
  • Yin is sometimes recognized as the Chinese goddess Changxi while Yang is known as the Chinese god Xihe.
  • The duality of Yin Yang is represented by a wide range of different pairings which include moon and sun, water and fire, good and evil, and light and dark.
  • Shennong, Nuwa, and Fuxi are the sons of Yin and Yang. In Chinese mythology, the three are also considered as the first Gods of the world.
  • Yin represents even numbers while Yang symbolizes odd numbers.
  • An early Chinese dictionary believed to be written sometime around 100 A.D. referred to Yang as the brightness and the south side of the mountain while Yin was described as darkness and north portion of the mountain.
  • A collection of Chinese poetry known as the Shijing showed the earliest known example of Yin Yang.
  • At present, the Yin Yang principle is still being discussed by students of traditional Chinese Medicine, Taoists, Yogis, Ventadists, and Buddhists.


What does a Yin Yang symbol represent?

A Yin Yang symbol represents balance and harmony.

What are the five stages of life according to the Yin Yang principle?

Ancient Chinese cosmologist Zou Yan said that life continually interchanged according to the concept of Yin Yang and went through five stages specifically metal, wood, fire, water, and Earth.

What is the symbol of Yin Yang called?

The symbol of Yin Yang is called as the Taijitu. Over time, the Taijitu has been found on multiple cultures around Asia but has become the primary representation of the religion Taoism.

It became immensely popular in the 3rd century B.C.E. with the establishment of the School of Yin Yang which helped students learned advanced cosmology and philosophy.

Yin and Yang

When was the philosophy of Yin Yang first used?

The philosophy of Yin Yang was first used by Ancient Chinese during the Han dynasty.