A lot of times we hear people adding fish ponds or fish tanks with Koi for good feng shui. Koi is a freshwater carp that are large beautiful freshwater fish popular for gardens. They’re prized not only in Asia but in many parts of the world.

According to Chinese folklore, in the middle of the Yellow River there’s a narrowing point, or “gate”. The carp would swim upstream to make their journey back to their birthplace. But, when they reached this gate, they would have to stop their journey. The problem was, it was too narrow for them to swim through. So the only way to get pass this point was to jump over it.

Of course, this was no easy task. These carp needed great effort, strength, and perseverance to get over this blocked point. But, legend says that those who managed to jump over the gate, transformed into a dragon, the most auspicious Chinese symbol.

Hence, this spot became known as Dragon’s Gate. And still today, carp are symbols of effort, strength, and perseverance.

Therefore, if you give a young man, an ornament with a carp on it, it means you wish for them to develop the positive characteristics of the carp.

In Asian culture, we use a lot of symbolism. That’s just part of our tradition and upbringing. But sometimes people confuse this with feng shui, when they’re actually two separate things.

More stories on Asian culture and Feng Shui you can find in the book How to Find a Good Feng Shui House by Jenny Nakao Hones

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