In Chinese culture, Shou and good health are considered to be sacred blessings of life. To bestow it upon someone is to wish them a long life. This greeting is particularly popular at the birthday celebrations of the elders in Chinese families. Gifts with Shou prominently displayed are favoreds and such gestures embody the wish that the elders will live as long as the legendary mountains in the south of China, matched with good health and fortune.
Today, to wish Fu upon another means to bless them with prosperity. It explains why Fu is always referred to in a wide variety of happy occasions and auspicious events. In particular, it is an ubquitous character during the Chinese New Year period; commonly seen in homes, business premises, and on the money-filled red packets that are distributed to the young.
Lu originated from feudal China to symbolize holding a rewarding position in the public office. Back then, an appointment as a government official was considered the highest post in life, hence, learned men would study for many years just to qualify. The honor and sense of fulfillment that followed was also thought to be the ultimate success. Over the years, the meaning has evolved to connote satisfaction and happiness through achievements in one's career.
Xi is a blessing that everyone, regardless of race, culture or religion, hopes to have. In the strive for happiness, it is often remarked that there is not enough in it in our world. Hence, in Chinese culture, when an occasion such as birth of a newborn child, moving into a new home, family reunions and most importantly, wedding celebrations, is filled with Xi, it is celebrated with much fanfare. The character is conspicuously exhibited at the celebrations, usually depicted in red.