October 12, 2010

Chinese culture considers Bamboo lucky because Bamboo is the Chinese symbol for strength.

Bamboo demonstrates strength by growing fast and adapting to new environments. Because of this, many in China see Bamboo as a symbol of luck, which explains why Bamboo is often given as a gift.

Bamboo Flute Music & Beautiful China

In fact, Bamboo is the most popular plant in China.  Most Chinese, even in high-rise apartments, have Bamboo plants around in small pots.

Bamboo represents the spirit of summer, simplicity and humility, and respect for elders among other things.

Painting Bamboo goes back centuries. Musical instruments have been made of Bamboo.

China’s first cannons were made of Bamboo.

Painting Chinese Bamboo

My wife has planted Bamboo in the yards of every house we’ve lived in.  When my father-in-law visits from China, he has his picture taken in front of the healthiest, tallest stand of Bamboo in the yard.

In Feng Shui, Bamboo is a symbol of strength, fortitude, and rapid growth. When given as a gift, Lucky Bamboo is said to be at its luckiest.

Chinese tradition also gives meaning to the number of stalks given as a gift. Two stalks is a symbol for love, three or six represent happiness while five or seven impart health.  The more stalks there are, the more luck there will be.

Sources: The Feng Shui meanings of lucky Bamboo and Living Arts Originals

Discover Fifteen Facts that will Blow Your Mind about China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Flowers, Greenery, and Gardens

March 17, 2010

Originally Published at Speak Without Interruption on February 18, 2010 by Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption. Posted on iLook China, 3/17/10 at 08:00

The photos with this guest post are from my collection. Click on Originally Published to see more.

One of the aspects of my trips to China, that I truly enjoyed, was seeing all of the flowers, greenery, and gardens along the way.  I wanted to specifically mention this fact, and state, the photos you might have seen of typical Chinese landscapes are true.  In fact, there were many more beautiful sights – of plants and flowers – than I had anticipated.  I saw them in cities – in the country – in hotels – in restaurants – in offices – and other places too numerous to mention.  Our office was in southern China – with a tropical climate – so there were flowers and greenery there any time of the year I visited.  As you go farther north, in China, there are the four seasons; however, even when it was too cold for outdoor plants there were many indoor ones wherever I went.

Shanghai Public Park

I do not enjoy planting or maintaining plants but I certainly like looking at them.  The growing scenery I saw in China always gave me a feeling of tranquility.  I had once thought about buying a condo in Shenzhen so I could stay longer when I visited.  One of the condos had a small patio (this was a multistoried condo building) and each patio came with a beautifully planted garden with flowers, plants, and trees.  It was a place where I would have enjoyed going every evening and just sitting.  It was covered so I could have enjoyed it in most types of weather.

Shanghai Public Park

Because I never stayed in the Western type hotels – rather staying where my Chinese associates stayed – I was treated to a unique insight on how some of the Chinese population lived.  Some of the hotels – where I stayed – were literally right next to apartment buildings.  I could actually look out my window into those apartments.  I can’t say that I saw anything “personal” in nature but I did get to see how some Chinese decorated their apartments and balconies.  I could also see the gardens many planted on the rooftops of their apartment buildings.  Staying in those places certainly gave me even more appreciation of the Chinese people in that I saw a side of their lives that most “Westerners” would never see unless they stayed in places where I stayed.

I will always have fond memories of the many beautiful things I saw growing in China – it is a picture that will remain with me forever.

If you want to see more of China, see Visiting Xian at