Yellow is the colour of sunshine.  And, more importantly for us here, it is the colour of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.  Yellow is the oldest sacred colour of China and therefore appropriate for a ritual festival, steeped in secrets and mystery, to have a colour so associated with ancient traditions and beliefs.

The first Emperor of China was known as the Yellow Emperor and it is
said that a yellow dragon appeared on this death to guide him to
heaven.  There are yellow dragons in the most wonderful locations in the
Nine Emperor Gods temple in Ampang, placed to guard the worshipers.

Yellow is the center of the 5 directional points.  The temple, at the center of the grounds is therefore yellow, while the corners are represented by White (west), Red (south), Green (east) and Black (north)  In the five colors of the elements, Yellow represents the Earth.  According to Taoist tradition, Yellow generates Yin and Yang and is therefore the color of everything.  For a festival charged with balancing Yin and Yang, the use of Yellow is unquestionably the perfect choice.

There are other factors as well.  Yellow is also the color of status and power and is thought to bring the energy of fire.  In Chinese the concept of the Yellow Earth ties the color Yellow to the practice of farming and agrarian traditions.

In Buddhism, yellow represents freedom from worldly cares and according to Feng Shui principles, yellow is thought to increase self-esteem and strengthen health and well-being.  At the Nine Emperor Gods temple, yellow is used in many shades, from orange-yellow to gold to lemon yellow and everything in between.



9 responses to “Yellow

  1. Hi Cheryl. Great article.. But I’m very sorry that I have to point out some mistakes..The Colour and Direction are as follows:
    White ( WEST ), Red (SOUTH ), Green (EAST) and Black (NORTH)

  2. english start from north then follow by south, east, west.
    chinese start from east 东(dong) – follow by south 南(nan), west 西 (xi) and north 北 (bei)

  3. I dig the writings on the yellow cloth

    • @ ed Yes, knew you would! Thanks
      It’s so crowded there now that photos are getting tougher to take. A photographer/videographer pair there tonight were really rude. I appreciate your unobtrusive style. I don’t even see you!! And you get the best photos! Met someone tonight who saw your work through the blog and was really impressed. Kudos

  4. Nice to meet you Cheryl, nice talking to you at the opera backstage… will follow your blog for more article on the emperor festival.

  5. Justin’s pics deserves a “wow” from me

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