Here’s a few couplets and Chinese New Year decorations from around my neighbourhood:
「心靜自得詩書味，室雅時開翰墨香」 “With a steady heart, finding joy by oneself in poetry and scholarship, one can smell the ink and brush in the elegant surroundings.”
“Cultivating both wisdom and merit”, “By cultivating merit, a grain of rice can block the sun and the moon, by cultivating wisdom, the tiniest hair can hold the universe”
Incidentally, this has been announced as the official slogan of 2017 by Tzu Chi (慈濟), one of the most renowned Buddhist organizations and charities in Taiwan.
“The year of the fourth heavenly stem (丁）and the tenth earthly branch (酉）
The many crackling sounds of bamboo fuse in song around the world, the golden rooster calls to bring in a year with a bountiful harvest.
Carve printing by Ling Yuxiu”
「金雞報喜」 “The Golden Rooster Calls to Announce a Happy Event”
「積善積福」 – the 「積」ji1, meaning “accumulate” is a homonym for 「雞」ji1, meaning “rooster”, so it translates as “Accumulate (rooster) goodness, accumulate (rooster) happiness”.
「萬事如意」 – “Hoping that everything goes as one wishes”.
「平安喜樂、幸福年年」 – “Peace and joy and happiness every year”.
「恭賀新禧，雞幸大吉」 – “Congratulations on the New Year, lots of fortune in the year of the rooster”.
「吉祥」- “auspicious”、「如意」- “as one wishes”
「春信千家傳紫燕」 － “The purple swallow spreads the news of Spring to a thousand households” – although there is a variant of the character for purple used:
as opposed to the standard form 「紫」
「福音萬户報金雞」 － “All the households hear the good news with the crowing of the golden rooster”
「花開富貴家家樂，燈照吉祥歳歲歡」 － The “花”, meaning “flower” is stylized into the shape of a rooster, and the phrase means “The flowers bloom with wealth and happiness for every family, the lights shine on good fortune, with celebrations every year”. The variant is used in place of the standard character「照」. 「春」, meaning “Spring” is stylized in the shape of a rooster. The middle phrase is「雞吉錢進」, meaning “the rooster’s fortune brings in money”.
「百福千祥」 means “Much happiness and much fortune” and below this is written some text「XX丁酉、X壽中X」 of which I could only make out the 「丁酉」which indicates 2017.
「和順一門有百福、平安二字值千金」 means “Learning to be sweet-tempered leads to much happiness, the two characters for peace and security are worth a thousand gold pieces”.
「入室芝蘭竟日香」 “To achieve a level of scholarship and moral refinement which makes the entire day a pleasure”
「遍地春光新歲月」 “All around the Spring sun marks a new year”
「一天元氣會風靈」”The energy of one day is unstoppable”
「雞年運亨通 – 丁酉新春」 means “Good fortune in the Year of the Rooster – the Spring of Dingyou Year”; And「春風如意喜來幸，梅開清香安和樂」means “The Spring breeze brings happiness and fortune, plum blossoms with the refreshing scent of security and happiness”.
This is a combination of several 複合字.
- The one on top represents the 成語「招財進寶」(ushering in wealth and prosperity)
The character on the bottom on the right is 招
The hand radical of 招 (扌) is also used with the 貝 in the centre as the 才 of 財
The walking radical that runs under the whole character 辶 with 隹 at the bottom left makes up 進
The top bit 王缶 under a roof 宀 and the 貝 from the bottom half make up 寶
- The one on the right represents the phrase 「海味山珍」 meaning the harvest reaped from the ocean and the mountains
- The one on the bottom represents the phrase 「日日有見財」 meaning “to find fortune every day”.
- The character on the left represents the phrase 「日斗進金」 meaning “to earn a dou of gold every day”
The translations are all a little rough, because let’s face it, couplets are hard to translate, so any corrections or suggestions are welcome.