I love the happiness character in Chinese, it is also known for meaning ‘good luck’ or ‘fortune’
For my happiness jewellery pieces, i looked to my favourite philosopher – Confucius. Confucius said the pictogram for the character represented – a basket of rice and a bended arm. He said ‘with only water to drink, only coarse rice to eat and bended arm as my pillow – I am happy’ . Absolute happiness he contended, comes not from material things, but one’s inner life. And I am sure many of us can relate to that. See also my post called ‘Be Happy”
What I love about the happiness character is that is also widely used as a good luck or fortune symbol – you will notice this character all over China as it is used in decorations during festivals and often, these decorations are up all year. Usually, the decorations are red paper with the character done in black calligraphy if home made (we did this in our calligraphy class) and if you buy them they the character comes in gold on red often. Red is a lucky positive colour in Chinese culture and is the colour I associate with Beijing in my memories – all the traditional buildings are even a red colour. I even have nice pieces of Chinese furniture I brought back with red. Sometimes the hang the character upside down before the festival to announce ‘fortune is coming’. For weddings and for wedding gifts, they put two happiness characters together for ‘double happiness’ .