It’s unfathomable to have one partner in a lifetime nowadays.
Yes, just one. From the day you met your love until the day you die.
You can look at the life of most Hollywood celebrities.
The late Elizabeth Taylor had a total of eight marriages throughout her life.
Nicolas Cage married for the fifth time in 2021 at age 57 after four relationships.
To be clear, this article is NOT making any judgments about them.
Everyone deserves happiness and freedom to find love regardless of the number of partners they had in the past.
But had you lived in the good old times when life is much simpler, the mindset of the masses is that a relationship is supposed to last forever.
However recent studies have found that love between humans is not meant to be long-lasting.
Yet, this article will discuss everlasting love and how it relates to a pair of mandarin ducks and feng shui.
I Bet You Have Never Seen a Mandarin Duck Before in Your Life
It’s not easy to spot a mandarin duck because it’s a rare species.
Most people have never seen one and will never get to see one in their lifetime.
In autumn 2018, a mysterious-looking duck with a striking appearance appeared at the Pond in New York City’s Central Park.
The presence of the bird generated so much buzz that a massive crowd of people soon gathered to watch the duck.
Soon it became a news sensation on TV, the Internet, and social media.
The said bird turned out to be a male mandarin duck.
Suddenly there was a surge of interest in mandarin ducks among the public.
Even Bette Midler ended up writing a children’s book about it. Yes, that Bette Midler, who sang that classic song, Wind Beneath My Wings.
After a few months of whipped-up excitement, the duck decided to leave and was never in sight again.
One trivia about mandarin ducks- the male’s appearance transcends the female one.
So instead of having the female born with an appearance of beauty, it’s the drake that has colorful features.
In contrast, the hen’s appearance is mundane and blends with the background- they are spotted in brown colors.
History of Mandarin Ducks in Chinese Culture
There’s a reason feng shui and mandarin ducks are related.
Because mandarin ducks have their roots in ancient Chinese civilization.
Chinese folklore and historical texts occasionally mentioned mandarin ducks.
In a chapter about birds, he described mandarin ducks as birds that are inseparable from each other- they are a symbol of eternal love and an example of a monogamic relationship.
In some verses of his poetry, he expressed his envy of mandarin ducks due to their everlasting love.
Tragic Folk Tale with Mandarin Ducks
One of the stories in the compilation is titled Han Ping and his Wife (韓憑夫婦).
It tells an epic tragedy of a steward for the Song Dynasty named Han Ping and his beautiful wife during the Warring States period.
In the end, both are reborn as mandarin ducks after their deaths due to their inseparable love.
In a Chinese folk tale, a loyal wife decided to leap to her death because she couldn’t live without her late husband. In the end, both reincarnated as a pair of mandarin ducks.
Here is a condensed version of the story.
The prince of the Song Dynasty was attracted to Han Ping’s beautiful wife. One day the prince decided to snatch her away and make her one of his concubines. Despite protestation, the prince imprisoned Han Ping and sentenced him to hard labor. Sometime later the wife secretly wrote Han Ping a letter telling him how she metaphorically missed him. The letter unfortunately falls into the hands of the prince. Due to the way the letter was written, the content was misinterpreted, saying that she intends to take her own life instead. When Han Ping heard about the letter, he killed himself. Devastated by the news of Han Ping’s suicide, she decided to jump to her death to join him in the afterlife. She left a suicide note asking to be buried together with Han Ping. However, the prince was angry and refused to do so. He made sure both were buried in separate tombs. After both were buried side by side, two great catalpa trees sprang up above the two graves. In days, both trees grew to enormous size, and their branches inclined towards each other and eventually intertwined. Soon a pair of mandarin ducks were seen perching on the tree branches day and night. That pair of ducks were said to be the reincarnation of Han Ping and his wife.
Mandarin Ducks Leitmotifs in Contemporary Chinese Culture
After the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 – 907), artisans started to incorporate images of mandarin ducks as auspicious motifs in wedding gifts and porcelain.
Traditional embroidery wedding gifts such as bed pillows, sheets, quilts, and clothes will have images of mandarin ducks.
Mandarin ducks in the background of a pond with lotus flowers are one of the popular aesthetic depictions of the birds used by artists and painters alike.
You can find images of a pair of mandarin ducks with a baby in a lotus fruit decorating walls or embroidered on bed sheets of newlywed couples.
An image that depicts a pair of mandarin ducks with a baby is a common symbol or leitmotif on Chinese wedding gifts.
In Chinese pinyin, mandarin duck is called yuānyāng and is often used to express a pair of objects with a different appearance.
A glass of iced yuan yang- a combination of tea and coffee drink that is popular in Hong Kong.
For example, Hongkongers like to call their favorite tea and coffee drink yuānyāng, using the same Chinese characters as a mandarin duck.
Sometimes people mistakenly thought of yuānyāng as a homonym for Yin Yang since both have similar pronunciation and meaning.
Mandarin Ducks in Japanese Culture
Japanese called mandarin ducks oshidori.
Like the Chinese, Japanese folklore also referenced mandarin ducks.
The Tale of Genji, an eleventh-century fictional novel written by Murasaki Shikibu (c. 970-1015), is about love and betrayal in the Japanese imperial court.
In it, Shikibu mentioned mandarin ducks when expressing long-lost love.
Lafcadio Hearn, a Greek-born author, wrote a collection of Japanese ghost stories he learned from his Japanese wife.
It was a retelling of creepy folk tales that he learned from his Japanese wife over the years.
One of the stories in Kwaidan titled Oshidori (mandarin duck) is about a hunter named Sonjō who killed a male mandarin duck.
Consequently, he was haunted by the duck’s female partner who appeared as a woman in his dream.
Sonjō, the hunter, shoot at a pair of mandarin duck in the Japanese folk tale, Oshidori.
Here is a short retelling of the story:
Sonjō went out hunting one day and arrived at a riverbank. There he saw a pair of mandarin ducks floating together in a river. He decided to shoot the pair with his arrow because he didn’t get any catch on that day. His arrow hit the drake, but the hen managed to escape. Sonjō took the carcass home as dinner. That night he had a nightmare. He dreamed of a beautiful woman crying and asked why he killed her partner. She asked him to return to the riverbank tomorrow. Feeling troubled, Sonjō went to the riverbank the next day and saw a female mandarin duck floating alone in the river. Instead of swimming away from _Sonjō_, the hen swam closer toward him. She kept her eyes firmly on Sonjō. Suddenly the hen tore her body to death using her beak. Feeling distressed and guilty for what he has done, Sonjō decided to shave his head and become a monk for the rest of his life.
What Does a Pair of Mandarin Ducks Symbolize?
Mandarin ducks are still a metaphor for husband and wife in Chinese culture.
If you grew up in China, you would have heard stories about the love and loyalty of mandarin ducks. They mate for life and symbolize marital harmony.
A pair of mandarin ducks symbolize everlasting love.
Objects in the form of mandarin ducks are a blessing for a couple.
They bring positive energy.
How to Use a Pair of Mandarin Ducks Feng Shui?
Because mandarin ducks can bring positive energy, you can find various objects in the form of mandarin ducks.
You can use any imagery depictions of mandarin ducks, whether in its object or abstract form. It’s all about your creativity.
Ornaments, figurines, paintings, stuffed toys, or clothes, you name it, it’s available out there.
Relatives and friends will gift these items to newlywed couples.
Newlywed couples would then place them in their homes to enhance their relationship and bring positive energy to their married life.
Mandarin Ducks Paintings
You can hang or decorate your house wall with photos, paintings, drawings, murals, or any piece of artistic expression of mandarin ducks.
The best thing is they don’t take up a lot of space.
The depiction of mandarin ducks floating on a lotus pond is a recurring theme in Chinese art.
Mandarin ducks are often portrayed floating behind a picturesque background of a pond with lotus flowers in Chinese paintings.
If you wish to put such paintings in your house, you can find them with the following themes or descriptions.
Mandarin ducks floating in a pond with lotus flowers (鸳 鸯 戏 荷)
Mandarin ducks in the background of a pond with periwinkle flowers (鸳 鸯 长 乐)
Mandarin ducks in the background of a pond with lotus fruits (鸳 鸯 贵 子)
Mandarin Ducks Ornaments
Mandarin duck ornaments are a popular feng shui love treatment.
You will never run out of choice regarding mandarin duck ornaments!
There are heaps of great figurine designs available online or at Asian shops.
They are made from a variety of materials- rose quartz, brass, copper, jade, porcelain, wood, and even resin.
Rose Quartz Mandarin Ducks Ornaments
Mandarin ducks ornaments made with rose quartz.
Rose quartz contains healing love energy.
A pair of mandarin ducks made from rose quartz crystal may bring extra love energy to your feng shui treatment.
Brass Mandarin Ducks Ornaments
Small mandarin ducks made from brass.
Mandarin duck figurines made from brass are small and they are perfect for decoration in small spaces.
These figurines are generally small with a height of between 4 to 6 cm.
Porcelain Mandarin Ducks Ornaments
For some time, porcelain mandarin ducks ornaments have been a much sought-after wedding gift choice for the Chinese.
They are cheap and easily found in shops and online.
You’ll have to be careful not to place them in tight places where they can fall on the ground since they are porcelain.
A mandarin ducks ornament made from porcelain.
How to Take Good Care of Your Mandarin Ducks Ornaments
If you spent big bucks getting an expensive mandarin duck display, you want to take good care of it.
These are hand-crafted masterpieces on demand with delicate but glittering crystals.
If you own these ornaments, you must maintain them properly so that they can retain their crystal brilliance and prevent discoloration.
When cleaning, try to polish the figurine carefully with a mildly dampened lint-free cloth.
Always keep the surface glossy and clean and not stained with oil.
How Should I Display ornaments and paintings with Mandarin Ducks?
Always display your mandarin ducks in pairs, because they’re inseparable.
One duck implies singlehood.
Let both ducks face the same direction.
Please make sure the energy around them is clean, well-lit, attractive, and fresh.
Where Should I Place My Mandarin Duck Ornaments?
You must place mandarin duck ornaments in your home’s love and marriage area.
If you use a classic feng shui school, then place your figurine in the southwest region of your home.
Another good feng shui placement is your lucky love direction, which is based on your date of birth.
Place the ornament in the living room, in the hallway, or on the TV cabinet to bring harmony to your family.
For the bedroom, you can place it at the head of the bed or on the dresser.
The nearby location of the mandarin duck ornament must not be too cluttered.
You must also not place the ornament in an inconspicuous place.
Let the ornament be visible as much as possible.
A single person can also place the ornament on their bedside or desk to attract marriage.
Oh, it’s not suitable to place any mandarin ducks-related objects in your children’s room.
It’s not channeling the right energy and may make your children precocious.
Other Mandarin Ducks Objects
Crockery with mandarin ducks drawings is also a popular gift for couples.
If you’re determined enough, you can find mandarin ducks images appearing in everyday items- bowls, mugs, vases, chopstick rests, and even spitoons.
A bowl is a drawing of mandarin ducks in a lotus pond.
Chopsticks rest in the shape of mandarin ducks.
What if I don’t like Mandarin Ducks?
Look, mandarin ducks are not the only symbol of love.
Ask yourself what images can whip up that energy of love.
Whether it is a piece of artwork, photography, or even stuffed toys.
Swans generally mate for life as well.
Swans, turtles, and doves are also lifelong companions.
There is a real story of a widowed swan in Hampstead Heath park in London that made the news for her loyalty to her partner in 2020.
To recap, a pair of mandarin ducks symbolize enduring love and marriage and have roots in Chinese culture.
Mandarin ducks are often used in feng shui love treatment because of this symbol.
There are heaps of choices out there- either in the form of paintings, figurines, crockery, or even clothes.
So, start experimenting with your preferred mandarin ducks items now.