Archives for posts with tag: canopus

Fu Lu SauW180xD80xH360mm, China
(in the order from left to right – Fu Sau, Lu)

In my generation and those before, the blessing trio figurine could be seen at the focal point of all homes.

The three are a combination of all good blessings,
Fu – good fortune,
Lu – prosperity,
Sau – longevity

The three were originally concept of the astrology, stars.
Fu Star – the planet Jupiter
Lu Star – Ursa Majoris
Shu Star – Canopus

In the Ming dynasty the Taoist, attributed the Stars to persons or saintly figures and the three are grouped together to symbolize the idea of a good life ever since.  Perhaps life has become less harsh or simply the flats are much smaller, Fu Lu Sau figurines are seldom seen in homes.

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L160xW50xH160mm, China

This clay toy is of the god of  longevity who began his legend as Canopus, the brightest star  in the southern constellation of Carina and Argo Navis.  In the Qin dynasty, temples were erected for the worship of  the Canopus star, it is believed that when the star shines brightly the world would be peaceful and vice versa.  Canopus is also known as the “elderly star”, apart from peace, it also upheld the ethic of the respect for the elders.  In the East Han dynasty, the ceremony for Canopus worship consist of a stately banquet that included all the over 70, nobleman and commoners.

Besides the astronomy aspect, the god of longevity also has a human figure, Peng Zu.  Legend has it that Peng Zu has mastered the art of longevity and lived to an age of  767 years old!