The crane is the most popular bird in Chinese paintings and is a symbol of longevity and auspiciousness. In ancient China the crane was regarded as having a long life span and one Chinese legend says that a immortal rode a crane to heaven.
The crane also represents a lasting soaring spirit, health, and happiness. In ancient China crane images were embroidered on robes of first-rank officials so the crane was held in high esteem and known as a first-rank bird. Cranes in Chinese paintings are usually painted with other symbols of longevity such as pine trees and peaches. Cranes with peony flowers symbolize longevity and prosperity. Cranes and lotus symbolize longevity and purity.