Fu, Lu and Shou, Three Stars of Blessings, Prosperity and Longevity
Fu, Lu, and Shou are three "gods" that are sometimes called the "Three
Stars." Separately, they may be called Fu Xing, Lu Xing, and Shou Xing, with
"Xing" meaning "star." The three gods -- legendary stars of blessings,
prosperity, and longevity -- have been popular among people for centuries, which
show the traditional culture of the Chinese people who long for happiness,
prosperity, and longevity.
Star of Blessings, Fu Xing
Fu Xing is a star that the ancient Chinese thought was in charge of
agriculture in China. Today, Fu Xing is generally shown as a court official with
a characteristically "winged" hat, and often with a scepter in his hand. But he
looked enormously different in an age-old drawing depicting 28 gods in early
Tang dynasty (618-907 AD), where, with a tiger face and leopard eyes, sitting on
a huge wild boar, he ranked as the head of the gods.
In the Tang
Dynasty, Fu Xing (also called Yang Cheng) became a governor of Dazhou in Hunan
of Central China. The emperor of his day found midgets amusing, and often
conscripted them from Dazhou. When governor Yang learned that the midgets were
unhappy to be taken away from their families, he stood up to the emperor and
abolished the practice. Thus Yang became immortalized as one who brings
blessings and happiness.
The Character Fu
The character fu is "good fortune, blessings, happiness." It denotes
being happy as the result of being lucky. The character is prominently displayed
on doors, often upside-down, as "turn upside-down" and a word meaning "arrive"
are homophones; in other words, to say "luck upside-down" sounds like "luck is
The Fu Culture
Fu means happiness, or good fortune. Through the ages, the
understanding of the word has varied. In Li Ji (literally, Records
of Rites), fu stands for success and also has the hidden meaning
of business being smooth and everything going well. In the episode of Hong
Fan, Book of Historical Records (Shang Shu), fu was
interpreted in five ways ranging from longevity, wealth, and peace to virtue,
and death without illnesses. In order to get the ultimate fu , a
perfect life had to be pursued via following the five principles.