Welcoming Good Fortune at Chinese New Year

Li Zaifan, our Confucius Institute for Scotland Chinese language teacher explains an important Chinese character for the Chinese New Year.

It is a traditional Chinese custom to paste the Chinese character “福” (Fu) on doors and windows during the Spring Festival. The character “福” (Fu) means “blessing” or “good fortune”, which embodies people’s yearning for a happy life, as well as wishes for a better future.

“福倒” (Fu Dao) is also one of the traditional Chinese customs. “倒” (Dao) means “to pour” or “to turn upside down”, but it has nearly the same pronunciation as “到” (Dao) which means “to arrive” or “to come”, so people often use “福倒” (Fu Dao) (福 (Fu) is upside down) to express “福到” (Fu Dao) (good fortune arrives). It is play on words. Therefore, during the Spring Festival, people in China often see the character “福” (Fu) pasted upside down on people’s doors and windows.

However, do not put “福” (Fu) upside down just anywhere. In some places, like water tanks and garbage bins, cupboards inside the house, or barns, cattle sheds and pig pens, you’d better keep 福 (Fu) the right way up. You certainly do not want to empty your water tank, storage or cattle sheds!

Enjoy good luck at our Chinese New Year events:

2nd February: Farmer’s Market, Castle Street, Edinburgh – unique activities provided by the Confucius Institute for Scotland team

5th February: Creative Cabin at Edinburgh Zoo –  lots of fun activities for kids and adults provided by the Confucius Institute for Scotland team

8th February: Our famous Confucius Institute for Scotland Chinese New Year Party at Abden House

15th February: Special reception at Edinburgh Zoo to celebrate the Giant Lanterns of China