The the various types of fish paintings that make into homes, one of the most popular in Chinese households is that of the double fish.
Fishes by itself have a rich history in Chinese culture and symbolism. But a pair of fish is an intended tweak on the already auspicious nature of fish itself.
Designs of a pair of fish can be found on artifacts from as ancient as the Zhou dynasty (1046-256BC).
It also garnered fame for being included as one of the 8 auspicious objects in Buddhism. You just don’t get recognition like this without substance.
It is said that the pair of fishes in this instance represents the goodness that knowledge brings to life.
At weddings, the double fish symbol represents the meaning of a harmonious union between the couple. It also carries the meaning of fertility, a surplus of happiness, marital bliss and sensual pleasure.
As such they are often found embroidered on bedsheets, pillowcases and clothing of newlyweds.
A popular depiction of the double fish symbol widely used in home decorations comes in form of two fishes hanging from a stone chime. This is a wish for happiness and joyous occasions. It is a play of the words ji qing you yu (吉庆又余)。
However this arrangement is also believed to be an amulet of sorts that provides protection. Which is why it can sometimes be found hanging in the interiors of cars to protect the driver and passengers from harm.
When two fish have a pearl between them, it means the accumulation of wealth.
During the Chinese New Year, a pair of fish is a favorite motif design found on gifts as the auspicious phrase nian nian you yu (年年有余) is regularly used to convey a wish for abundant prosperity. This is a word play as yu (余) sounds the same as the word yu (鱼) which means fish.
Jewelry with double fish designs are usually meant for children. These can be made of gold or with gemstones such as sapphire, and are meant to call on good luck in general.
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