Spring couplet -- spring wishes for a fresh start

Spring couplets are Chinese poems hung on both sides of a doorway.

The Chinese characters depict good wishes of prosperity, fortune and peace.

As spring arrives, these couplets usher in a new year with new hopes and a fresh start.

Spring couplets are made of red paper with black Chinese calligraphy written on them.

In the past, these couplets were made of peach wood and were called peach wood charms tao2 fu2 桃符.

These charms were used to guard against evil spirits. "Door gods" were engraved on peach wood.

Nowadays images of door gods are machine-printed and put up during Chinese New Year).

Over time, this meaning was gradually lost.

Couplets made of paper started appearing from 600 years ago and were very popular during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Each household would write their own spring couplets during Chinese New Year.

Nowadays, spring couplets are hung as auspicious signs.

These poems must have the same character counts on both sides, the same structure and harmony in sound.

In fact, writing spring couplets became a way of showing off an person’s literary talents.

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