I pity the fú​!

The Chinese love fú​ (no, not that foo’). Of all the characters you see in China, fú​ (福) has got to be the most common. It’s everywhere, especially at Spring Festival. It can be understood as good fortune/luck/auspiciousness/blessing and is used in everything from the Chinese word for “happiness” (幸福) to “the Gospel” (福音) to “Blessed are the poor…” in Luke 6 (“…有福了。”).

Here’s a cheesy, hauntingly Dr. Suess-esque e-mail we got at work today (in Chinese) that expresses nicely how it feels to be literally surrounded by fú​s everywhere you go:

Tiger comes, fú​ comes,* every household fú​,
Tiger brings blessings filled up with fú​.
Tiger year enjoy fú​ different kinds of fú​:
Big fú​, small fú​, everywhere fú​,
Gold fú​, silver fú​, fully-stored-up fú​!
Welcome fú​, greet fú​ every year fú​,
Guard fú​, implore fú​, every age fú​!
Wish you tiger year even more… happiness.

I thought that last line is kind of a downer. You really though it was going to end with “fú​”, didn’t you? It does in Chinese, but as part of the word for “happiness” (幸福).

We just got some of our our Spring Festival fú​ today when my parents arrived from Canada to see ustheir granddaughter (it’s their first time in China!), so the blog may be a little slow the next two weeks.

*(This older style grammar actually means ‘has arrived’ but doesn’t literally have past tense, sort of like “The Lord is come”… so I’m told.)

P.S. – For some reason it’s not letting me include the Chinese text… I’m using WordPress. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know! If I include the text, it removes all text (English and Chinese) from the post preview. Help!

Other stuff about celebrating Chinese New Year’s:

8 thoughts on “I pity the fú​!”

    1. Just walked two blocks to pick up dinner. Counted 119 fús in between that restaurant and our door (and that’s not counting the decoration vendors’ stalls)!

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