Out of Season

A sign of spring
The character for spring hanging on an old door in back alley Yonghe.

I was wandering through the crooked alleyways of Yǒnghé 永和 on my way to brunch earlier this week when I noticed a weathered emblem affixed to an old door. I stopped to take a picture, appreciating how worn both of these things have become in time.

The Chinese character featured in the middle of the sign is chūn 春, or spring, the season. Less obvious are the four characters at the top, fùguì yǒuyú 富貴有餘, an expression that loosely translates to “wealth and abundance” (if Google is to be trusted). While searching for more information I found that the last character is sometimes replaced by “fish”, or yú 魚, a homonym, or left out altogether (as this sound is implied by the design).