FACTS & HISTORY: The Cicada's role in Chinese culture is a longstanding and fascinating one. Meanings associated with the insect range from simply indicating the onset of summer to more complex themes, such as rebirth and immortality. The cicada can even represent the pathos of nature, in which we are all prey in the end.
This lifecycle of the Cicada is thought to represent the spirits of dead people who are on their path to an eternal existence in the transcendental world. The concept of rebirth and immortality probably emanates from this. Direct symbolism of the cicada's life cycle can be seen in China's Han Dynasty.