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06 February 2011 @ 08:39 pm
a fortuitous sign  
happy chinese new year!!
last thursday rang in the start of the year
of the rabbit--which is supposed to be a kinder
fluffier year than the year of the tiger was.

in celebration, i thought i'd share some
chinese symbolism that is considered good
luck in its culture. some of these i've used
in my own novels.

peach is a symbol of longevity which is always
considered good luck by the chinese. the wood of
the tree is said to ward off evil, and weapons were
crafted from it. also, the tree of immortality bears a
peach as its sought after fruit.

bamboo is also a symbol of longevity, due to its strength
and resilience. it is flexible, adaptable and stays green
all year round.

the bat is a symbol of good fortune because it is
pronounced bian fu. and fu literally means good fortune
in mandarin, so due to this play on words (which
the chinese love) the bat is considered very lucky and
carved into jade, furniture pieces, etc.

the chinese dragon is probably one of the most
powerful symbol of good fortune. often one that
could only be used by the emperor throughout history.
unlike western folklore, the dragon is almost always seen
as good and a sign of luck. success, achievement
and abundance are all associated with the creature.

plum blossoms is a good symbol tied directly to the
chinese new year, representing courage and hope. the
chinese really admire the plum blossom for blooming on
bare branches during the cold winter months.

so there you have it, just a few of an abundance of
symbols considered good luck in the chinese culture! =)

*bamboo and plum paintings by me.

cindy pon
Silver Phoenix paperback (2/1/11)
Fury of the Phoenix (3/29/11)
Current Mood: accomplished
nancyholdernancyholder on February 7th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
Good Fortune!
What beautiful images. YOu are so talented!
Glaizaanimewave on February 7th, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)
Those symbols are gorgeous O.O
Sayantani DasGuptaSayantani16 on February 7th, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
oo great post and beautiful images, cindy! what's that intricately carved box - the 'peach' - it's stunning!
Leah_Cypessleah_cypess on February 7th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
So fascinating (yes, the bat surprised me the most!) and what a treat to get some of your paintings too!
ebooraem on February 7th, 2011 03:49 pm (UTC)
Love this post! And here's hoping the rabbit year is kinder and fluffier than the Year of the Tiger.

Beautiful paintings, Cindy.
kikihamiltonkikihamilton on February 7th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the interesting post - I didn't know that about the peach tree and what a lovely box. Your paintings are very beautiful - how fun to get to see them in this context!
Laurel MontgomeryLaurelMS on February 7th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
I love the plum blossom painting! But if peaches are lucky, the University of Georgia football team sure doesn't know it.
ex_marissam on February 7th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
What gorgeous paintings!

Three of those symbols made their way into my coronation scene in CINDER (bamboo, dragons, and plum blossoms), but I had no idea about bats! Maybe I'll add some bats in the throne room. ^_^
(Deleted comment)
ex_marissam on February 7th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, it takes place in futuristic China (in the story, most of Asia has combined to form one country, called the Eastern Commonwealth).
(Deleted comment)
ex_marissam on February 7th, 2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
Right, that's partly why I chose it for the setting, because some scholars believe that the first Cinderella story (at least, the version with the slipper) started in China. But yes, mine is sci-fi. Kind of cyclical, right? Haha.

Amber Loughamberlough on February 7th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
I like all of those symbols, and I hope that this year is kinder and fluffier. It certainly is, snow-wise. But anyway, I adore bats. I wish I had a pet bat, actually.

And my very-own peach tree.

And a few Cindy paintings. ;-)
Devadeva_fagan on February 7th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing both the information and especially your lovely brushwork, Cindy! It's so interesting to hear how different things can symbolize such different concepts (like the owl Grace mentioned in her previous post, and the bat and dragon here).

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!
natalieag on February 7th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
Happy Chinese New Year! My daughter is adopted from China so we always celebrate. I didn't know about most of the symbols you mentioned. Thanks for sharing.
wendydelsol on February 8th, 2011 02:24 pm (UTC)
Great post. So interesting. Who knew about the much-maligned bat? Or peachwood? Happy Chinese New Year.
carmenferreirocarmenferreiro on February 9th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)

Really beautiful and informative. Your drawings fit perfectly and they are gorgeous.

Happy New Chinese Year!