A Stroke of Luck
Words by: Tanya Singh
A four-leaved clover, shooting stars, bamboo shoots, the Maneki-Neko or the beckoning cat – there are thousands of symbols of luck and prosperity across different cultures. Here are a few symbolic items from the Vermillion portfolio to bring good energy and luck to your home.
Adapting to the rules of Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese traditional practice which uses energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environments, can result in an effortless flow of good fortune into your home. The use of certain propitious symbols and motifs is a cornerstone of the traditional practice. Here is some insightful information on some of the most auspicious symbols of luck in Asian cultures to help you bring prosperity and joy to your living space.
The symbolism behind fish in the Chinese culture and Feng Shui is tied to a phonetic coincidence. The Chinese word for fish (yú, 魚) when pronounced with a different tone (yù, 裕) translates to "over, more than" or "abundance". Hence, fish motifs are often used as symbols of abundance, prosperity, and good fortune. AEfolio's Gourd and Goldfish Glass Sculpture, cast meticulously in a limited production run, brings the auspicious symbol to life.
Within the range of propitious aquatic symbols, the Koi is a Feng Shui favorite and represents fame, family harmony, and wealth. In another joyous phonetic coincidence, the word "koi" in Japanese is a homophone for "love", symbolizing lasting relationships. The Harmony Koi Tea Tray by Forbidden Hill vividly captures the motif in shades of green.
Across Asia, flowers of all kinds are kept in high regard – sometimes as offerings to the gods and other times as symbols of vitality and beauty. The Chinese often use the saying, "花开富贵 (huakai fugui)" translating to "blooming flowers bring prosperity and happiness". The Move Vase by Nousaku beautifully translates the wonder of nature into a contemporary work of art. Similarly, the Flower Way Paper Cutouts by SOZEN Create wonderfully capture the beauty of blooming flowers.
In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms are considered a beautiful metaphor for our fleeting lives. During blooming season, the cherry blossoms flourish into vibrant flowers only to fall from their trees two weeks later. They are a reminder for us to make the most of life. Cherry Blossom, a painting by Michell Lie, beautifully showcases the blooming flowers in all their glory.
"Joy is what I want to communicate here. May you bud, bloom, and blossom with the flower of life...," says Michell Lie about her artwork.
The Birth Month Flowers Wine Glasses by 5iveSis provide a personalized dose of good luck and fortune to the users. Each glass sits on a skillfully crafted pewter likeness of one of the twelve flowers.
The Birth Month Flowers Wine Glasses are available in 12 variations representing birth flowers for each month.
As traditional sources of light, lanterns always played an important role in celebrations and religious festivities. In the contemporary world, they have become a symbol of vitality, luxury, and good luck. Taking cue from their traditional form and function, the Chinese Lantern Vase by Bing Design brings a touch of tradition and good energy to any home. On the other hand, Studio NooSH's Table Runner and Napkins Set brings the symbolic essence of lanterns to your table.
Left to right: Chinese Lantern Vase with Sunbird & Rabbit by Bing Design – Piling Palang, Table Runner & Embroidered Lanterns Napkins Set by Studio NooSH, and Autumn Lantern Ring Box by Forbidden Hill.
Lanterns are considered symbols of luck and love in the Vietnamese culture as well. People in Vietnam believe that floating lit lanterns on the Mekong River can bring health and happiness. The Autumn Lantern Ring Box by Forbidden Hill is reminiscent of the strings of lanterns that can be witnessed during the mid-Autumn festival across Southeast Asia.
RED AND GOLD
According to an ancient Chinese legend, an elderly couple once called on the Eight Immortals or xian to save their son from a demon named Sui. On the eve of Chinese New Year, the deities transformed themselves into coins wrapped in red paper under the child's pillow. The demon was defeated, the child saved, and a new tradition was born. Parents began gifting their children money wrapped in red paper, which we now know as hongbaos, or red packets, as a gift of good health and fortune.
Shou Xin Li's Hongbao Red Envelopes add a touch of grandeur to the traditional red packets.
Traditionally, the color red also symbolizes luck, happiness, and vitality. It is often accompanied with gold to add wealth and prosperity to the mix. The auspicious duo is best represented in Shou Xin Li's Yingshan Writing Gift Box with stationery items in vibrant shades of red accompanied with intricately carved brass bookmarks plated with 18k gold.
In addition to nature and environment inspired symbols, certain objects and characters have found their place as signifiers of luck and prosperity over time. The Maneki-Neko or the Beckoning Cat, for instance, earned its place as a good luck charm during the Edo period in Japan. According to legend, a samurai was beckoned by inside a temple by a mysterious cat, and as soon as he stepped inside, lightning struck the exact spot he was standing on. Let's Talk Glass have rendered a beautiful version of the symbol with their Fortune Cat Glass Decoration pieces embedded with pure gold leaf.
Similarly, LiaoCao's Set of Four Lucky and Fortune Cups leverage the power of Chinese characters in inviting good luck and prosperity. They are a dedication to the medium of enlightenment and education.
These were just a few highlights from our collection of auspicious objects for your home, but the list doesn't end here. View the full catalogue of auspicious objects here.