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Why is the character "fu 福" (luck) upside down?


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#1 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 01:36 AM

Many of the chinese will probably stick a label with the character "fu 福" (meaning 'luck') onto the door of the house during chinese new year. However, the typical way is to stick it upside down as shown below.

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I once question my parents why is it upside down. They mention it's because sticking it this way means in the chinese language "fu dao 福倒" (luck turning upside down), but the "dao 倒" (upside down) also sounds the same as "dao 到" (arrive), thus such representation also generally means "fu dao 福到"(luck arrives or comes).

Thus the purpose of turning it upside down is to symbolize the meaning of "luck arriving or coming" during chinese new year.

Can someone verify whether this explanation is correct? Or if you have other explanation of why the character "fu" is upside down, please comment and let us know...any comments are appreciated.
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#2 KaLing

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 03:40 AM

My parents say that by turning "fu" upside down, it represents money falling down = abundance of money.
I would also be interested in what other meanings there might be.

*Edit

Just asked my dad and he said that it's more about good fortune/luck arriving (rather than money itself) - like what you said, General.

Edited by KaLing, 05 July 2006 - 03:47 AM.

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#3 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 12:51 PM

I did some research on the internet, and it confirms that when the luck is turned upside down, it means "Luck comes" or "luck has arrived"

According to http://www.chunjie.n...home/index5.asp , there is a legendary story of origin associated with this practice.

It was said that Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋(founder of Ming dynasty) once used the character "fu 福" (luck) as a hidden signal to prepare killing someone. The kind-hearted empress Ma (马皇后)decided to eliminate the tragedy of killing, so she ordered everyone in the city to put a label with the character "fu 福" (luck) on the door of their house before the sun rises the next day. Everyone followed empress Ma's order , but one family is illiterate and pasted the label with the character "fu 福" (luck) upside down. On the 2nd day, the emperor ordered his officer to go to the city and found that every family had pasted the label with the character "fu 福" (luck), and with one family having the character "fu 福" (luck) upside down. The emperor was very angry and ordered that family be executed. Empress Ma realized the incidence and told the emperor "that family knew you're coming today, so purposely turn the label upside down. Isn't that the same meaning as 'Luck arrives'?" After hearing this, the emperor immediately released the family and a tragedy was averted. From then on, people began to paste the label with the character "fu 福" (luck) with the purpose of hoping for auspiciousness, and another to honor empress Ma.
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang




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