Which symbol is most representative of China?
The Chinese symbol for luck - why the wrong way is sometimes spot on
One of the most important Chinese lucky charms is undoubtedly the symbol fu 福, which stands for "luck". Artists like to paint the sign with black ink on a red background, but there are also symbols as necklaces, on T-shirts and greeting cards. But why do you often see the sign upside down? In China, putting lucky symbols on apartment doors at New Year's time has been a centuries-old tradition. In addition to sayings that promise happiness on the door frame, there is always a big foot in the focus in gold and / or red. This tradition can be traced back to the Zhou dynasty (up to 256 BC). Then as now, these symbols are supposed to protect the god of poverty from entering your own four walls.
So fu really brings happiness into the house
However, it is not very easy to correctly apply the fu symbol. Did you know that there are certain rules how to properly attach the lucky symbol? Here is some advice on how to attach it correctly so that luck is always on your side. Incidentally, the correct way of affixing the symbol can vary from city to city and from province to province.
First of all, the most important lesson: The symbol for 福 can be placed the right way round or the wrong way round. There are different meanings for the attachment, depending on the respective family situation and the place where it is to be attached. A Fu sign on the head can be found in different places.
- Walk on garbage or water
The lucky symbol is stuck on water jugs, rubbish bins or boxes at home. What does that have to do with happiness? The things that are in there have to come out or disappear. Getting out is therefore represented by the upside down fu symbol. The tipping out of the water then means that you bring happiness out of the vessel and liberate it.
- Walk on furniture in the apartment
The sign is stuck upside down on cupboards or shelves in the apartment. This attachment brings happiness into the house and into the cupboards. Fu here appropriately symbolizes luck and wealth.
- Fu for better times
Even if there was an accident in the family in the past year, someone died, a fire or a traffic accident occurred, the symbol can be upside down. Happiness returns home and misfortune should give way to the positive.
The wrong way round also means arriving
Why do the Chinese even get the idea of hanging the sign upside down? The reason for this can be found in the Chinese language. The character for “upside down” (dào 倒) has the same pronunciation as the character for “arrived (到 dào). A fu hung upside down has the same name as the expression “happiness is there” or it now arrives or comes back.
Please imagine the following scene: On Chinese New Year's Day, a visitor comes to visit. Previously, the family had put the sign upside down (by mistake or because the exchange student was allowed to affix it) on the entrance door. The guest calls out: "Your fu symbol has been affixed the wrong way round" 你们 的 福 倒 了! This saying can also be understood as “Your happiness is here” 你们 的 福 到 了! That also fits, but actually it shouldn't be like that.
At the front door, please turn it the right way round!
Because the fu is usually glued the right way around on the entrance door. The happiness at the door means yingfu 迎 福 (“to welcome happiness”) and nafu 纳福 (“to receive happiness”). In addition, the door is the symbol for the exit of the house. If you go outside through the door, you should be as lucky as possible. Anyone who comes into the apartment through the door should bring as much luck as possible.
In short, you can remember that the Chinese symbol for happiness can be hung upside down inside the apartment. Outside, especially on the front door, it should hang the right way round - at least that's how most people in China think so. Of course, it looks nice in any case.
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