Bamboo

    Bamboo (竹子) : In Chinese culture, The bamboo symbolizes the stretch of life, longevity, happiness and spiritual truth. It depicted on a charm is also a pun because the Chinese word for bamboo (zhu 竹) and the Chinese word for "to wish" or "to congratulate" (zhu 祝) are pronounced the same. Because it has a "hollow center" (kongxu 空虚), bamboo also symbolizes "modesty" (qianxu 谦虚) because the second character for both has the same pronunciation (xu). Bamboo was traditionally used to frighten away evil spirits, such as the mythical beast Nian (年), because when placed in a fire it would create a loud crackling sound similar to firecrackers. Bamboo symbolizes the ideals of a Confucian scholar because both are perceived as upright, strong and resilient while still being gentle, graceful and refined. The bamboo is a member of the Three Friends in Winter and represents the ideals of the Taoists (Daoists) because it can bend during the worst weather but not break.

     

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