Square and Cultures


– The character 田 means “field”
This started form how field plots in China are traditionally in square shape and it became a typical image of the field.

– The character 中 means “middle”
A line in middle separates a rectangle into 2 perfectly squares, representing

– Square represents the earth/physical world/human world, in the contrary with circle standing for heaven/holly world.

    • Temple of earth with square architecture

    • Temple of heaven with circle architecture

  • Iching coin – a lucky coin said to bring luck and wealthy for people who carry it with them

The square inside a circle means the harmony of earth and heaven. Human carrying “heaven” and “earth”, the whole 3 elements go together create a “lucky aura” that brings wealth and money.


This is a kind of traditional sticky rice cake in Vietnam called “bánh chưng”. It has square shape and is served during New Year holiday together with “bánh dày”, a circle shaped sticky rice cake.

Vietnamese myth had it that the cake shaped in a square represents for the earth while the cake with circle shapes represent for heaven.

In Ancient time people believed that the earth was a flat square and heaven was like a gigantic ball. To celebrate and honor the harmony between heaven and earth, they created “bánh chưng” and “bánh dày” and served them during Vietnamese new year holiday


– Square is the symbol of the heart. Each side of a square symbolizes an aspect:

  • angelic
  • devil
  • human
  • divine

It represents the duality in everything, encouraging the balance.

– Square representing the natural orders of universe, typically showed in all the four elements around us:

    • 4 directions: North, East, West, South

    • 4 seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter

    • 4 cosmic elements: suns, moons, planets, stars

    • 4 prime elements: fire, earth, air, water

  • 4 common phases of human life: birth, child, adult, death

– Stupa, a mound-like structure used as a medication place for Buddhists. A Stupa always consists of 5 parts represent 5 elements: a square as base stands for earth; above is a circle stands for water; the middle part is triangle represents fire, next is a crescent moon represents air/wind; and top of all is a point stands for space.

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