The Chinese have revered bamboo for centuries, considering its placement in homes, gardens and businesses as signifying luck or bringing good luck into a household, friendship, marriage or business. Often that luck is thought to be financial with the bamboo plant being a symbol of wealth.
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China's association of bamboo with good luck and wealth may stem from the plant's rapid growth and long life, according to Bamboo Tree Meaning. The erect green plant also connotes success, prosperity and protection from evil. In India, bamboo signifies friendship.
Small stalks of bamboo called "lucky bamboo" are sold individually or in arrangements for household or office use.
Bamboo has a crucial place in the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui---creating balance and harmony in spaces. Generally, growing bamboo is thought to bring luck and protection to rooms and the people using them.
Different arrangements of bamboo signify different Feng Shui attributes, according to Lucky Bamboo Shop. Three stalks represent happiness; five stalks signify good health and six stalks connote harmony. For prosperity, bamboo should be grouped in eight, 18, 28 or 38 stalks.
Lucky bamboo constructed in towers light up the future while trellises made of braided bamboo prevent bad energy flow, according to Lucky Bamboo Shop. Double-braided canes bring good news and triple-braided canes represent a new development in business or at home.
Bamboo leaves seen from a distance appear to cross over each other to create what looks like the Chinese character called "an," which means "tranquillity," according to Living Arts Originals. Travelers in ancient China often included a bamboo leaf in letters to signify well-being.
Many Chinese myths include bamboo. In the tale of the Four Gentlemen representing the four seasons of the year, bamboo signifies summer and welcome, according to Living Arts Originals. The combination of its rigid, upright growth and the flexibility to bend in the wind represent the balance of Yin and Yang, of beauty and strength.
Bamboo's ability to survive strong winds and return to its normal erect growth is used as an inspiration to cope with adversity.
Bamboo's origins date back to it growing wild throughout Asia, where many cultures based their creation myths around the bamboo plant, according to Bamboo Plant Meaning. Creation stories in the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal and the Philippines have the first man and woman emerging from the stem of a bamboo plant. In Malaysian folklore, the first man slept under a bamboo tree, dreaming of a beautiful woman. When he woke, he found the woman inside the tree.
Bamboo, the largest members of the grass family, reaches its full height in just one growing season, making it the fastest-growing plant in the world. More than 1,000 types of bamboo grow in a wide range of climates around the world.
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