When a Chinese boy likes a Chinese girl he gives her a jade one. Among the ancients it was a symbol of the “soul and of unconscious attraction towards the light” (A Dictionary of Symbols – J.E. Cirlot). The butterfly’s transformation from it’s former state as a caterpillar is a universally accepted symbol of patience in enduring the process of change and transformation in our own human lives.
We’ve always admired their ability to cocoon themselves away from the world and emerge as winged-wonders taking to the sky in an apparent snubbing of their former grounded and somewhat grotesque states.
They’ve therefore come to represent hope and perseverance in our struggles with changes.