Double Happiness

Some of my readers may have received something in the mail from me recently with the Chinese Characters, Double Happiness. While this symbol is well know in Hong Kong, I realized it is not know to the rest of the world.

Double Happiness (sometimes translated as Double Joy or Double Happy) is a Chinese ornamental design commonly used for marital happiness. It’s not used in regular Chinese writing or printing. It is a ligature "囍" composed of two Chinese characters 喜 (joy). Together it represents the wish for the newlyweds to have good fortune and happiness as a couple.

The motif often appears on decorative items associated with weddings, including the wedding ceremony, as well as on gift items given to the bride and groom. The color of the character is usually red.

Used widely in invitations and save the dates

Wedding favors

There are also Red Packets that are given as gifts for Chinese Wedding

 They have special cakes to give out when you are engaged (this is more common and popular among the Taiwanese)

A common gift for new couples, Double happiness coconuts. Coconuts symbolize togetherness, but when painted gold with the symbol, apparently they bring fertility to the new bride. I see them in the markets all the time.

Another Chinese tradition is arranging the wedding date. Before wedding ceremony, the two families arrange a wedding date according to Chinese Tung shing. Selecting an auspicious day to assure a good future for the couple is as important as avoiding what is believed to be an unlucky day. We didn't do any of this, but it turns out that we are getting married on Buddha's Birthday during the year of Water Dragon. Lucky, eh?


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