Chinese Character: Light, Bright (光)

The character 光 depicts a fire shining above a man, or a person holding up a burning object for light.
By Cindy Chan
Epoch Times


The Chinese character for “light” or “bright,” 光 (guāng), is composed of two other characters: At the top is 火 (huǒ), fire, and below is 儿 (er or ér), which means son or child and is the simplified form of the traditional character 兒 (er or ér).

The character 光 depicts a fire shining above a man, or a person holding up a burning object for light. This character can be seen to convey the idea that the discovery of fire led humankind on the path to advancement, culture, and civilization.

光 is used in many familiar terms. Examples include 光力 (guāng lì), illuminating power; 光亮 (guāng liàng) or 光明 (guāng míng), bright, clear, or promising; 光榮 (guāng róng), honour or glory; 光陰 (guāng yīn), time; 光學 (guāng xué), optics; and 光年 (guāng nián), light year.

光明正大 (guāng míng zhèng dà) is a phrase used to praise upright behaviour that is open, frank, and aboveboard.

光陰如箭 (guāng yīn rú jiàn) advises people that time flies like an arrow, and 光宗耀祖 (guāng zōng yào zǔ) means to bring honour to one’s ancestors.

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