THE ART OF PAPERCUTTING  Stencil Examples   by: LH Yap  

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Four Large Fish
Four Small Fish

This fish pattern in Mandarin is called “nián nián yǒu yú” (“Year Year Have Surplus”) 年 年 有 余 which means “Every year may you have abundance in your life”. This phrase often goes with a gift of something related to fish. This is because the last character "yú" which means surplus or abundance has exactly the same pronunciation in Mandarin as the word for "fish".

Four Large Springs
Four Small Springs

This Spring 春 pattern in Mandarin is called “chun” which means “The Spring Season”. Spring is one of the four seasons of the year. To the Chinese, the coming of Spring brings the first new season for the New Year. In Chinese believe, Springtime is seen as a time of growth, renewal, of new life (for both plants and animals) being born, and of the cycle of life starting once again. It is also used more generally as the start of better times.