Many of the decorations which are used on Chinese ceramics have special meanings. These are some of the common ones.

Bamboo: promotion or perfect personality.

Bat: hapiness. (In mandarin, the word for “bat” sounds like the word for “happiness”.)

Carp: doing well in business. (In mandarin, the word for “carp” sounds like the word for “business”.)

Carrot: auspicious predestination.

Chi-lin (Chinese unicorn): excellent descendents or promotion.

Chicken: building up a family or a business (in Taiwanese culture).

Chrysanthemum: nobility or wealth

Crane: long life.

Deer: richness (In mandarin, the word for “deer” sounds like the word for “salary”.)

Dragon: authority, nobility, auspiciousness or the emperor. (The Chinese mythology, the dragon is a good natured and benign creature.)

Fish: wealth or abundance. (In mandarin, the word for “fish” sounds like the word for “surplus”.)

Horse: success.

Lion: preventing evil.

Lotus: purity or auspiciousness.

Magpie: festival.

Peony: nobility or wealth

Peach: immortality.

Pine: longevity.

Pineapple: flourish (in Taiwanese custom).

Phoenix: beauty, nobility, the female or the empress.

Pumpkin: descendants. (In mandarin, the word for “pumpkin” sounds like the word for “son – and pumpkins have many seeds.)

Swastika: the heart of the Buddha, resignation of spirit, mind or infinity.

Wave: full of happiness

Yin and Yang: the inter-action of opposites in nature. The light portion, Yang, is male, heaven, sun and light.  The dark half, Yin, represents the female, earth, moon and dark.