Chinese Mandarin Squares

illustrated landscape with a bird, building, and statue


Taoist and Buddhist Religious Symbols

Symbols icon

During the era of mandarin squares, the major population in East Asia worshiped many gods and held diverse religious practices. Of these beliefs emerged various sacred symbols that were incorporated into mandarin squares

Buddhism and Taoism were two of the three major religions that co-existed at the time, the third being Confucianism. The Buddhist held sacred the Eight Buddhist symbols while the Taoists held sacred the Eight Immortals of Taoism. One can find a mixture of these symbols and various others within a mandarin square, each one conveying personal preference and the beliefs of the era. These symbols were also believed to bring good luck to those who wore them.

The Eight Buddhist symbols are also known as the ashtamangalas (the 8 signs of good fortune). They are often depicted as purna kalasha, a vase filled with all the characteristics of goodness.