Monday, February 11, 2013

Chinese New Year and Double Happiness

Happy Year of the Snake...

The double happiness Chinese symbol is an ornamental design used in decorations and could be translated as 'Double Happy' or 'Double Joy'. This motif is pronounced as shuangxi in Chinese. This double happiness symbol is actually a ligature, i.e. a 'glyph' formed of two separate units called 'graphemes'. Grapheme is a fundamental unit of any written language while a glyph could be the variant of graphemes, a compound character (ligature) or a diacritic (a character with marks present above or below it).

Double Happiness Symbol Meaning
The double happiness symbol is used in Chinese weddings and it signifies happiness. In Chinese culture, it means that the couple and their families would live together harmoniously if the symbol is put in their house.

The Double Happiness Chinese Symbol Story
There is a short story behind the origin of the Chinese symbol for double happiness. During the period of Tang Dynasty in ancient China, a young boy was on his way to appear for an examination to become a minister. The boy fell ill while he was traveling through a mountainous region. A herbal practitioner and his daughter took care of the boy, after which he recovered quickly. When the boy had to leave, he found it difficult to say adieu to the girl as he fell in love with her. The girl thus wrote down the right hand part of an antithetical couplet for the boy; which was as follows. "Green trees against the sky in the spring rain while the sky set off the spring trees in the obscuration." The young boy took it and left for the capital to attend the examination. During the examination, he was asked by the emperor to complete the right hand part of a couplet which said, "Red flowers dot the land in the breeze's chase while the land colored up in red after the kiss". The boy instantly realized that the sentence written by the herbal practitioner's daughter was a perfect match for the one given by the emperor. Thus, he gave the right answer and stood first in the examination. Impressed by the performance of the boy, the emperor adjudged him as the new minister. After becoming the minister, the young boy married the herbal practitioner's daughter. On the occasion of their wedding, the HAPPY character was doubled and put on a red paper. The symbol was used to mark the happiness of the event. The double happiness symbol thus attained a respectable position in Chinese art of calligraphy and is used in weddings.

Double Happiness Symbol Feng Shui
Feng Shui is a science of geomancy which is practiced in China for the last 3,000 years. The experts of Feng Shui suggest to put the double happiness symbol in the southwest direction of the house.

The various symbols of the Chinese language have a great significance and some kind of tradition associated with them. Chinese calligraphy is one such art that makes use of these characters. The double happiness Chinese symbol thus is an important character which is considered to bring positivity and happiness in the life of a newly wed couple.

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