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Eternal Expectations:
Fortune, Wealth, Longevity, Happiness
(four Chinese goals in life)

People forever wish for perfection and fortune. For those living in the East, fu lu shou xi (fortune, wealth, longevity, happiness) are their eternal wishes. The themes of these wishes vary from sincere expectation to boundless imagination. Stories and myths include subjects such as flowers, birds, and fishes, all of which are ingredients of rich and interesting auspicious designs and tales of happy occasions and greetings.

Learn to say them. Believe in their power. The oriental Chinese inspirations have woven so many blessings to share with you.

Fu (Fortune)
Chinese people use auspicious words and designs, and present gifts symbolizing good fortune in their daily lives. The practice stems from the concept of accruing good fortune in one's life. Fu (fortune) refers to a wide variety of happy occasions and auspicious events. Things that relate to wealth and good luck, well wishes for the family and offspring, Chinese dragon and lion dances, as well as holiday celebrations, all pertain to accruing fu .

Lu (Wealth)
Lu refers to holding a rewarding public office, which connotes wealth. As an old saying goes, "In books are found houses constructed with golden bricks and girls with jade-like complexions." In ancient China, scholars pursued wealth and fame in imperial offices by passing imperial examinations. Holding an official position meant possessing a source of unlimited wealth and fame. Lu has a homophonic character lu, or deer, considered an auspicious animal by Chinese. The peony is also used to symbolize affluence and personal gains.

Shou (Longevity)
Chinese people consider health and longevity to be the ultimate blessings of an ideal life. The olden wishes of "longevity of ten thousand years" for the emperors and the "life as far stretched as the heavens" for the common people were perfect manifestations of yearnings for long life. Using subjects in either the natural or supernatural world that have traditional symbolisms, Chinese people create a multitude of colorful concepts on longevity and good fortune.

Xi (Happiness)
"A good rain after a long drought, meeting an old acquaintance in a foreign land, the wedding night, passing the imperial examination." This is the Poem of the Four Happiness popular in ancient China. Obviously, xi (happiness) encompasses different things for the Chinese people. Joyful occasions and auspicious events are all referred to as xi. In general, however, xi is more commonly used in weddings, which is the beginning of procreation.

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