Double happiness in a circular shape.
Double happiness on a woven mat
Double Happiness (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ) sometimes translated as Double Happy, is a Chinese traditional ornament design, commonly used as a decoration symbol of marriage. Outside of China, it is also used in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia.
Old matchboxes with double happiness design
Double Happiness is a ligature, "?" composed of - two copies of the Chinese characters ? (x?) literally meaning joy, compressed to assume the square shape of a standard Chinese character (much as a real character may consist of two parts), and is pronounced as a polysyllabic Chinese character, being read as (shu?ngx?).
Typically the character "?" is written in Chinese calligraphy, and frequently appears on traditional decorative items, associated with marriage. 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).
In popular culture
Nowadays shu?ngx? (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.
A porcelain vase from the Qing Dynasty with double happiness characters
Rice bowl cover decorated with a medallion of the double happiness and longevity (Shou) symbol in the center, from Joseon Dynasty Korea
A Vietnamese wedding decoration, with a double happiness character
Traditional Chinese wedding ceremony, with a double happiness character in the background
Chinese wedding invitation cards with double happiness characters
Chinese wedding invitation card with a double happiness character in the center
Double happiness decorations
Chinese wedding ceremony teaware, with double happiness characters on them
Chinese wedding ceremony teaware
Gold jewelry with double happiness character, Hong Kong
A traditional Chinese wedding reception, with double happiness decoration in the middle
- Fu character (?), also a common good-luck decorative design boom panes
- Lu character (?), a Chinese character symbolising prosperity
- Shou character (?), a Chinese character symbolizing longevity