Chinese characters usually have more than one meaning. Chinese people love certain characters in particular. A list of the top 10 most auspicious ones follow. Please note that the Chinese phonetic system for characters, pin yin, is also used here. For example, “fu” is pin yin for good luck in Chinese, but “fu” is only the phonetic part of the character and also represents other Chinese characters that sound the same.
1. (福) Fu: blessings, good fortune, good luck
Fu is one of the most popular characters used during the Chinese New Year. It is often posted upside down on the front door of a dwelling. The upside down character fu means “good luck came”, since the character representing “upside down” in Chinese sounds the same as “good luck has come.”
2. (祿) Lu: prosperity
It used to refer to an official’s salary in ancient China. Feng shui is believed to be the Chinese way to health, wealth, and happiness. The three words often used together — fu, lu, and shou — are considered the triplet of blessing in feng shui and indicate good luck, wealth, and long life.
3. (合) He: harmonious
“Living with others in harmony” is an important part of the Chinese culture. When you have harmonious relations with others, things will be a lot easier for you.
4. (財) Cai: wealth, money
Chinese often say money can make a ghost turn a millstone. People used to greet each other during Chinese New Year by saying: ”Kong xi fa cai,” which means to get more money and make a fortune.
5. (壽) Shou: longevity
Shou also means long life, or “birthday” for elderly people.
6. (喜) Xi: happiness
The character of double happiness is usually posted everywhere for Chinese weddings.
7. (愛) Ai: love, affection
Little needs to be said about this one. We merely want to point out that ai is often used in conjunction with ren: “ai ren” — meaning lover. Chinese often use this to refer to the wife.
8. (美) Mei: beautiful, pretty
Mei means beautiful. Mei li in Chinese describes a person who is pretty and nice looking. It is good to say: “That lady is mei li.”
9. (吉) Ji: lucky, auspicious, propitious
The character also implies living in a time of few wars with less danger.
10. (德) De: virtue, morals
De means virtue, morals, values, heart or mind, kindness, integrity, and ethics.