The symbol Double Happiness has great importance and meaning for Vietnamese people; and while in Vietnam you will see it sprinkled around over multiple items.
The two Chinese characters together one meaning
GOOD LUCK + LONGEVITY.
It is a popular decoration for weddings and for the important Tet (The Lunar New Year) celebrations and now home décor, parts of buildings, tiles, wall hangings, clothing and almost anything including Lotus sweet packet.
Items with this symbol make excellent presents to people.
Song Hi – in Vietnamese
Shuang Xi – in Chinese
Above: decorative double happiness as part of house design.
Double Happiness dates back almost as far as Hanoi City.
Wang Anshi (1021-1086) started this trend that has lasted almost 1,000 years, and isn’t going anywhere in a hurry. Wang Anshi in his later life ended up being a famous Chinese politician, but our story begins when he was a young man.
To cut a long story short:
A girl looks for a talented hubby, so she puts out a cryptic message written on a lantern outside her parents house. The lad rides past on his way to his royal exams and works out the puzzle. He takes his Royal Exam, then heads home, along the way he meets the girl and it is decided they will get married.
On the day of his wedding he finds out that he has passed the Royal Exam with high distinction.
To celebrate his doubly happy day he wrote double happiness in Chinese on a piece of red paper and attached it to his gate.
Now days double happiness symbol is especially used for weddings but lives on in other areas, popping up on crockery, home wares, lamps, cups, fabric, photo albums, and lives on !!