Spring Couplets refers to pairs of propitious verses written in black or gold ink on red paper. They are called Spring Couplets because the Chinese Lunar New Year has been known as the Spring Festival throughout history.
A good pair of Spring Couplets is short, concise, poetic and straight-forward. The verses are of the same length and are usually composed in rhyme and written by scholars known for their beautiful calligraphy.
The origin of pasting Spring Couplets dates back to the Ming dynasty during the 14th century. The predecessor of Spring Couplets is called Taofu. Taofu is a piece of peach wood board decorated with two deities who are good at getting rid of evil spirits. Mythology has it that the boards were hung on doorways in the ancient times to dispel monsters and ghosts ahead of the Lunar New Year.
These days, people hang or paste Spring Couplets on their doorways. The two vertical red strips of paper are pasted on either side of the front door. The first line or Upper Line is posted on the right side and the second line or Lower Line is posted on the left side. In addition, a third horizontal one with propitious words may be hung across the lintel at the top. just for adding a festive mood to the centuries-old holiday in Chinese-speaking communities around the world; they are also a symbol of good fortune, peace and prosperity. Very often the theme of the verses reflects the expectations of an individual, a family or even a business group.
Source: Radio Taiwan International
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