Writing Chinese Characters: Happiness (幸福)

Both of the Chinese characters 福 (fú) and 幸福 (xìngfú) mean “happiness.” (China Gaze)
Both of the Chinese characters 福 (fú) and 幸福 (xìngfú) mean “happiness.” (China Gaze)

Both of the Chinese characters 福 () and 幸福 (xìngfú) mean “happiness.”

Confucius said: “With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bent hand for a pillow, I am happy (幸福).” He taught how happiness comes from simple things.

Happiness is defined differently for people in different eras, but for people in Confucius’s lifetime, it meant being free from hunger. Hence, the component parts of the character 福 (fú) express the idea of a full stomach. The concept of “to fill” is represented on the right side of the character: The one “一”, the mouth “口,” and a cultivated field “田” represent “to fill.” The left side of the character represents unity with Heaven “示”—the source of abundance.

chinese characters

Happiness is defined differently for people in different eras, but for people in Confucius’s lifetime, it meant being free from hunger. (Kikoo Kikoo/123RF)

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