The Yin-Yang circle is a very familiar symbol for people who love Eastern culture in general and Vietnamese people in particular. When visiting Hoi An Ancient Town, you will surely come across many of these images. So where does the Yin and Yang circle come from, and what does it mean? Let’s discover the Yin and Yang architectural heritage in Hoi An Ancient Town together through this article below!
1. The original theory of Yin and Yang philosophy
The theory of Yin and Yang has long roots, first appearing in the famous book called I Ching in China around 3,000 BC. The author of this famous book is a legendary figure named Fuxi. He is considered the founder of Chinese civilization.
The theory is deeply rooted in Chinese cosmology and metaphysics, dating back thousands of years. According to this philosophy, the universe is governed by the dynamic interplay of two complementary forces—Yin and Yang. Yin is associated with qualities such as darkness, passivity, receptivity, and the feminine, while Yang embodies light, activity, assertiveness, and the masculine.
2. The content of Yin and Yang theory
According to the concept of the ancient people, in the beginning, the Universe is formless, boundless, stillness, and emptiness. Until the appearance of two forms of energy, which are Yin energy and Yang energy. Ancient people believed that everything in the universe is made up of these two basic forms of energy. Yang includes Heaven, day, heat, strength, hardness, initiative, man and masculinity, and so on. Yin includes the Moon, night, cold, weakness, soft, passive, woman and feminine, and so on.
3. The meaning of the Yin and Yang theory
When looking at the Yin-Yang circle, we can easily see 2 outstanding features of the Yin-Yang theory: Although Yin and Yang are two opposite sides, they have a close relationship with each other, they cannot exist without the presence of the other half. For example, there would be no day without night, no cold without heat, no women without men, no good people without bad people.
There is no absolute Yin, no absolute Yang: The yin and yang circle is separated by a curve, which shows that there is no absolute boundary between Yin and Yang. Also, in the Yin part, there is a small white dot and in the Yang part, there is a small black dot. It means there is nothing absolute in this universe. The theory of Yin and Yang advises humans to live peacefully and in balance with nature and the universe. Any action that destroys this balance will make humans weak, tired, and miserable.
In conclusion, the exploration of Hoi An Ancient Town’s architectural heritage unveils a captivating tapestry woven with the intricate threads of yin and yang principles. Ultimately, discovering the yin and yang architectural heritage in Hoi An Ancient Town is an immersive journey into the equilibrium of opposites, a visual symphony that echoes the town’s enduring cultural legacy.