Auspicious Design - CNTO
Home About China The Culture Auspicious Design

Auspicious Design

Auspicious Design

Chinese Auspicious Symbols and Animals

China boasts many popular auspicious symbols. For instance, on the occasion of the New Year, festivals or festive days, people like to decorate their rooms and articles with such auspicious patterns, expressing their desire for a happy life and celebrations on a propitious time and festive day.

The auspicious symbols and animals emerged in the Zhou Dynasty more than 3,000 years ago, and then became popular among the Chinese people. Nowadays, they are still an indispensable part of Chinese life. These auspicious patterns and symbols cover a wide range, and here are several commonly seen:

  • double happinessDouble happiness: The pattern of double happiness means that two happy events occur at the same time, representing extreme auspiciousness. People often use this pattern when celebrating their weddings. It is a common symbol in the form of an ideogram that's supposed to bring a double dose of happiness to everyone around it.

  • shou and fuShou (longevity) and Fu (auspiciousness): Shou (the Chinese character of longevity) and Fu (blessings, auspiciousness and good fortune) are most popular auspicious symbols. The pattern of good fortune and longevity is composed of the character of bats and longevity. Since the pronunciation of the bat is homophonic to that of Fu (good fortune), this pattern indicates good fortune and longevity.

  • Ruyi: Ruyi, an S-shaped ornamental object usually made of jade, is a symbol of good luck. In the pattern of "four ruyi enclosing each other," four ruyi are enclosed and connected with each other on four sides, symbolizing everything goes as one wishes.

  • Chinese knots: Traditional Chinese decorative knots are also known as Chinese knots. In Chinese, "knot" means reunion, friendliness, peace, warmth, marriage, and love, etc. Chinese knots are often used to express good wishes, including happiness, prosperity, and love.

  • Dragons: The dragon is the totem of the Chinese nation. Chinese around the world proudly proclaim themselves "Descendents of the Dragon." Dragons are referred to as the divine mythical creature that brings with it ultimate abundance, prosperity and good fortune.

  • Tortoise: A symbol of longevity, support, wealth and prosperity. All the secrets of heaven and earth are said to be concealed within its body and the design motifs on its shell.

  • Crane: This bird is also known as the bird of immortality and it's supposed to bring long life, happiness and smoothness in one's life. If the crane is standing on a tortoise, it means that you will have good supporters, protection from your adversaries and a life of riches.

  • Three-legged toad: Plenty of wealth can be attracted into the home with the three-legged toad with a coin in its mouth. You may keep more than one toad but never more than nine. Keep them below the table or other discreet places. Never keep them in the bedroom.

  • Fish: Carps are known for their legendary valour in swimming against the current and make a good marital fortune symbol.

  • Qi lins: This dragon horse is also known as the Chinese unicorn. A great omen for prosperity, success, longevity, illustrious offspring and enhancement, the qi lin should always be displayed as a pair.


Other animals which can bring luck and fortune for the Chinese include the deer, horses, pigs, wish-fulfilling cows and elephants. Besides animals, there are other auspicious symbols too.

  • fu symbolFu symbol: The Chinese character "fu" means good fortune and happiness, and during Spring Festival every family would paste it upside down on their doors in the hope that the word could bring blessings to their families. The word "fu" is also a homophone for the word bat, which accordingly makes the bat also a representation of luck.

  • Gourd: Gourd (Hulu) is the fruit of a kind of liana. When fresh and tender, it could be eaten as vegetable; when dried, it makes an ideal container of water or wine. Northern Chinese farmers have the habit of cutting a gourd in two to be used as wine containers or ladles. Because the gourd liana is prolific in fruits and seeds, families have regarded it as a symbol of prosperity since ancient times. In some areas, men and women in love are still observing the Mid-Autumn Festival tradition to steal gourds from the fields with the desire to have as many children as possible after they get married.

  • Gold ingots: Gold (it doesn't have to be the real thing) ingots are extremely auspicious. They signify wealth and material assets.


  • 01
  • 02
  • 03
  • 04
  • 05
  • 06
  • 07
  • 08
  • 09
  • 010
  • 011
  • 012
  • 013
  • 014
  • 015