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The character Fú (福) meaning “good fortune” or “happiness”.

Mounted Fú are a widespread Chinese tradition associated with Chinese New Year and can be seen on the entrances of many Chinese homes worldwide. The characters are generally printed on a square piece of paper or stitched in fabric. The practice is universal among Chinese people regardless of socioeconomic status, and dates to at least the Song Dynasty (AD 960 – 1279).

When displayed as a Chinese ideograph, Fú is almost universally displayed upside-down. The reason ‘why’ is based on a wordplay: in nearly all varieties of Chinese: the words for “upside-down” (倒, Pinyin: dào) and “to arrive” (到,Pinyin: dào) are homophonous or nearly homophonous. Therefore, the phrase an “upside-down Fú” sounds either identical or nearly identical to the phrase “Good luck arrives”. Pasting the character upside-down on a door or doorpost thus translates into a wish for prosperity to descend upon a dwelling.

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