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Goldfish Diary

Goldfish Culture - The Lunar Goldfish

In this issue, we feature the popularity of the goldfish as an auspicious fish in the Lunar New Year.

he cool morning breeze conveys the arrival of Spring, the season of harvest and celebration! What better way to start our first diary of the year with a write-up about the goldfish and the Lunar New Year?

For a race that has been plagiarized by natural catastrophes, wars and poverty for more than 5000 years, it is only natural that the goldfish, a symbol of peace, harmony and prosperity forms an important and integral part of the Chinese culture.

From embroideries, paintings, china, postcards, handicrafts, lanterns and sculptures, the goldfish is one of the favorite subjects for ancient and contemporary artisans alike.  The Chinese regard the goldfish as a “New Year Fish". Traditional Chinese families acquired big and red goldfish during the Lunar New Year as they would acquire beautiful potted plants to grace the festive atmosphere. Many goldfish dealers in Singapore increase their import of goldfish just before the Lunar New Year to meet the great demand. 

A Lunar New Year goldfish postcard

Goldfish scroll for prosperity
Apart from being enchanted by the beauty of the goldfish. The Chinese pronunciation of the goldfish sounds like “Abundance of Gold”. There were also much folklore and “Feng Shui” (geomancy) beliefs that keeping goldfish could wade off back luck and improve the well-being of their owners. The “Feng Shui” practitioners are particular about the placement of the goldfish tank and the number of goldfish kept. For instance, it is considered good luck to keep 9 goldfish (as shown in the postcard and scroll in this article). Some people keep 8 red goldfish and a black goldfish to counter evil forces (for fanatics like us, the more goldfish the merrier!).

" Hei Mu Dan"

"Jin Yin Yan"

"Ying Yang Qiu"

"Ti Bao Jin"


"Hong Yun Dan Tou"

"Bian Di Jin"

Although the red and gold are the most auspicious colors in the Lunar New Year, goldfish varieties of other colors are also very popular. The Chinese love to coin interesting and auspicious names for the goldfish. For example, the Red-Cap Oranda is known as “Hong Yun Dan Tou” (Tremendous Luck before one’s path); the cute Classical Chinese Lionhead is known as “Shou Xing Gong” (the God of Longevity). The black and lower half bodied red goldfish are known as “Ti Bao Jin” (Metal Covering Gold) and the “silver eye socket" red fish are known as “Jin Yin Yan” (Gold and Silvery eyes); the Short tail Ryukins are known as “Bian Di Jin” (Floor full of Gold); the Black Moor is adorably known as the “Hei Mu Dan” (Black Peony); a Pompon goldfish with one red and one white velvety balls is known as "Ying Yang Qiu" (Male and Female Ball) and the list goes on...

Goldfish handicrafts

  The goldfish hobby has transcended into the lives of people from different countries, background and cultures. Since the launch of this website, we have made many friends both locally and from Australia, Canada, Egypt, USA, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, etc. The goldfish is indeed, an emblem of friendship.

"Shou Xing Gong"

Goldfish Lanterns
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all a very happy, healthy and prosperous Lunar New Year. May the world gain more peace, harmony and prosperity from now on - for goldfish’s sake!

We welcome you to send your comments to or sign on our Guest Book.

To see other articles in our goldfish diary, let's go back to our diary home page.

29 January 2003




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