Saturday, 10 March 2018

Learn one Chinese Character a day - 春

As traditional Chinese spring festival has just passed, let us start our lesson today with the Chinese Character which means spring - 春.

You might be wondering how did Chinese ancestors create 春 to mean spring? As usual, we will get the full idea behind with the help of its ancient scripts.

Below is the evolution history of 春 (image taken from:
evolution history of 春

As we can see from its Oracle script -  clearly that it is composed of (which is woods), (which is sun) and is new to us, which is a drawing of some seed start to sprout from earth and growing root underneath. That is exactly what will happen in spring: all plants are awaken by the power of sun to start to sprout, as shown below:
grass sprout in a woods under sun shine

There could be following two reasons for Chinese ancestors to put sun under one side of the woods instead of putting it on top of woods:
1. Downside of a map is south. At the start of Spring, Sun shines from south side of the woods.
2. Sun might mean Sunlight as illustrated by the picture above.

From its Bronze Script , which is composed of(which is grass), (simplified version of seedling -) and  (which is Sun),  It still contains most part of its Oracle Script counter party - .

When it came to Clerical Script  and are further merged and simplified to  with lower part 日 moved to middle bottom part of the character, which is then eventually transformed to our current writing - 春.

Yes 春 means spring. For example: 春天

And since 春 is created with meaning of seeds sprouting all over the woods under sun shine, it naturally contains the meaning of lively and joyful. For example 大地回春.

As Spring is mating season of most animals, so 春 is extended to mean love or kind of lust. For example: 怀春

That is all for 春, it is now time for us to enjoy a Chinese calligraphy with 春 inside:


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