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What Do Butterflies Mean in Various Cultures?

What Do Butterflies Mean in Various Cultures?

What do butterflies mean

What do butterflies mean? From ancient ages, people have assumed that these animals could give prophecies and signs.

Even in the modern era, most people still believe in this marvel. If you’re one of those individuals, you might be curious to know what it means when you see a butterfly. 

Butterflies have over 25,000 species. While different cultures and societies link different meanings to the butterfly, it’s universally believed that they symbolize change and transition.

It’s clear to see why, as the butterfly begins as one creature and goes through the process of metamorphosis and transforms into a lovely butterfly. 

The Symbolism of the Butterfly.

What do butterflies mean in various cultures
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First, keep in mind that a butterfly’s symbolism is unique in different cultures and traditions. Often, it signifies change that may happen in your life.

Commonly, the difference isn’t going to be a small event, but it’ll be a significant change that will bring new dimensions to your life. 

To most cultures, the transition from a caterpillar to a butterfly is one of the remarkable changes in the animal kingdom.

The metamorphosis often signifies a substantial change in the course of a person’s life, personality, or way of thinking.

Butterfly transformation from caterpillar to butterfly

Various cultures affix different meanings to a butterfly. For instance, a butterfly in Asia signifies long life, and when you see two butterflies together, they represent love.

You can see that symbolism in weddings throughout the US, where they are released after the wedding ceremony is done. 

Below are the different meanings of a butterfly in different cultures.


Did you know that butterflies in Japan symbolize young women who find bliss as married women? That makes butterflies a famous design addition to many Japanese family crests. 


In Chinese culture, a butterfly signifies prosperity, happiness, and joy. It can also be a sign of good luck. In their culture, they typically interpret two butterflies flying together as a symbol of love. 

Beautiful butterflies


The long migration of the Monarch butterflies from North America has substantial meaning in Mexico. The butterflies there are considered to be spirits of their loved ones returning home.

They even have a holiday which they call, The Days of the Dead. That’s not a sad occasion, though, but rather a happy celebration of the deceased loved ones, to honor and remember them.

Ancient Culture.

In the ancient culture, a butterfly symbolizes rebirth after letting go of a long-held belief or behavior. That belief still holds for most these days. 

Western World.

Woman laughing with a butterfly on her nose

In the western region, a butterfly symbolizes good times, fun, and freedom. It also signifies being natural and purity.

Images of butterflies are a trendy option for tattoos, particularly for women, representing femininity, freedom, grace, and beauty.  

It is incredible to realize how butterflies transformed through numerous stages and become beautiful creatures.

There’s no doubt that butterflies are a wonder of nature, beginning as a small thing and turning into something else.

We hope you learned what a butterfly means in this post and the various meaning in different cultures.

Read more:
The Language of Flowers and what they symbolize.
What do Sunflowers represent and what do they symbolize?

Want to learn more about Butterflies? Find here some great Butterfly Books at Amazon.