(The picture source: www.nipic.com)
贴福字 (Tiē fú zì) Pasting “Fu” Upside Down
春节 (Chūnjié): n. Spring Festival / Chinese New Year
爷爷 (Yéye): n. grandpa
说 (Shuō): v. to say
It is a Chinese custom to paste “Fu” upside down on the doors or walls in the Spring Festival.
Yes, the right way to paste “Fu” is to paste it upside down.
Because we describe this action as “福倒了 (fú dào le) the Fu character is upside down.” In Chinese, “福倒了 (fú dào le) ” has the same pronunciation as “福到了 (fú dào le), ” which means “happiness comes.”
It is said that the custom of pasting “Fu” can date back to the Qing Dynasty. On the eve of the Spring Festival, a servant wanted to please the owner by pasting “Fu” characters on the gate.
However, because he was illiterate, he mistakenly posted the word “Fu” on the door upside down.
His owner was very annoyed, and the servant explained to him: “I often hear people say that you’re very blessed, my lord!
And now “福倒(到)了 (fú dào le) happiness comes.” It’s definitely a good omen.” The owner was very happy after hearing his words, so he rewarded the servant.
Since then, the custom of pasting the word “Fu” upside down has spread, and the passers-by seeing the word “Fu” on the door will say: “福倒(到)了 (fú dào le)! Happiness comes!”
Chūnjié láidào, 春节来到, Spring Festival arrives,
Yéye kěxiào. 爷爷可笑. Grandpa is ridiculous.
Fú zì tiēdào, 福字贴倒, He pasted “Fu” upside down,
Wǒ bǎ cuò tiāo. 我把错挑. I point out the mistake.
Yéye bù nǎo, 爷爷不恼, Grandpa does not get mad,
Liězuǐ shuō hǎo. 咧嘴说好. He grins and says it is fine.
Fú dào fú dào, 福倒福到, Hanging “Happiness” upside down means the arrival of good fortune,
Xìngfú lái dào. 幸福来到. Happiness is coming.
好 (Hǎo): adj. fine
高兴 (Gāoxìng): adj. happy; glad
可笑 (Kěxiào): adj. ridiculous
Useful Chinese Phrases And Idioms Commonly Paired with Fu
1. 祝福 (Zhùfú) n./v.blessing/bless
Qǐng jiēshòu wǒ zhōngxīn de zhùfú. 请接受我衷心的祝福。 Please accept my heartfelt blessing.
2. 福利 (Fúlì) n. material benefits; well-being; welfare
Zhè jiā gōngsī fúlì dàiyù hěn búcuò. 这家公司福利待遇很不错。 This company has very good benefits.
3. 幸福 (Xìngfú) n./adj. happiness/happy
Wǒ yǒu yígè xīnfú de jiātíng. 我有一个幸福的家庭。 I have a happy family.
4. 五福临门 (Wǔ fú lín mén) five blessings descend upon the house
Zhù nǐ wǔ fú lín mén, hǎo yùn lián lián. 祝你五福临门，好运连连。 Bless you and I wish you good luck.
5.福如东海 (Fúrúdōnghǎi) may your fortune be as boundless as the East Sea
Zhù nǐ fúrúdōnghǎi, shòubǐnánshān. 祝你福如东海，寿比南山。
May your happiness be as boundless as the Eastern Sea and may your life be as long as the South Mountain!
“福如东海，寿比南山 (fúrúdōnghǎi, shòubǐnánshān)” is used as a blessing for seniors. Therefore, it’s appropriate to apply it to give best wishes on your grandpa’s or grandma’s birthday in China.
1. Please choose the best answer to make the sentence complete.
Kàndào háizi chī bǎo hòu, māma lòuchū le ( ) de xiàoróng.
A. 祝福 (Zhùfú)
B. 福利 (Fúlì)
C. 幸福 (Xìngfú)
Further Learning More Traditional Chinese Customs for New Year
Video Lesson: Chinese New Year (Part II)
Why Do Chinese Eat Fish During Spring Festival?
Chinese Culture Series: Chinese New Year 2009 Part Ⅱ: Hongbao – Lucky Money
General Chinese (Beginner Level)
General Chinese (Intermediate Level)