Double Happiness (calligraphy)

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Double happiness on a woven mat

Double Happiness (simplified Chinese: 双喜; traditional Chinese: 雙喜; pinyin: shuāngxǐ) sometimes translated as Double Happy, is a Chinese traditional ornament design, commonly used as a decoration and symbol of marriage. Outside of China, it is also used in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Old matchboxes with double happiness design

Characteristics[edit]

Double Happiness is a ligature, "囍" composed of 喜喜 – two copies of the Chinese characters 喜 (About this sound ) literally meaning joy, compressed to assume the square shape of a standard Chinese character (much like a real character may consist of two parts), and is pronounced as a polysyllabic Chinese character, being read as 双喜 (shuāngxǐ).

Typically the character "囍" is written in Chinese calligraphy, and frequently appears on traditional decorative items, associated with the lunar new year celebrations. Double happiness symbol also often found all over the wedding ceremony, as well as on gift items given to the bride and groom. The color of the character is usually red, occasionally black.

Since 2017, the version 10 of the Unicode Standard features a rounded version of the character in the "Enclosed Ideographic Supplement" block, at code point U+1F264 (ROUNDED SYMBOL FOR SHUANGXI).[1]

In popular culture[edit]

Nowadays shuāngxǐ (alternative transcriptions, Shuang hsi) is used as a brand names for things like fashion, jewelry, cigarettes, matches, soy sauce, etc. It is also featured as decoration on many items by Chinese luxury brand Shanghai Tang.

Hong Kong lifestyle retail store G.O.D. designs many products themed with the double happiness symbol, including scented candles, accessories and Ming-inspired tableware and tea sets.[2][3]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Fu character (福), also a common good-luck decorative design boom panes
  • Lu character (禄), a Chinese character symbolising prosperity
  • Shou character (寿), a Chinese character symbolizing longevity

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Unicode Standard, Version 10.0, Enclosed Ideographic Supplement" (PDF). unicode.org. The Unicode Consortium. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  2. ^ Hong, Xinying (10 July 2012). "9 quirky finds at Goods of Desire". Her World Plus. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "G.O.D.: Tongue in cheek - Tongue-in-cheek designs inspired by Hong Kong culture". CNN Travel. 22 May 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 

External links[edit]