- Gordon Dumoulin
Mother's day in China | Daylilies, Confusian philosopher Meng and Hǎo
What do Daylilies, 好 (Hǎo; good) and ancient Confusian Philosopher Master Meng have in common ? They symbolize the praise and appreciation of mother and motherhood in China since ancient history.
The daylily (金针, jīn zhēn, literally golden needle) symbolizes mother’s devotion to her child as well as vice versa the child’s devotion and filial piety to mother.
One of the first words foreigners learn in Chinese language is Hǎo (好) which means good. The original meaning of the character is usually less explained. A widely accepted meaning of this character is that the characters for "female" (女) and "child" (子) were put together to refer to the deep affection and love between mother and child, which then extended to mean "good".
Master Meng (孟子, Mèngzǐ or Mencius) was a famous Confucian philosopher more than 2300 years ago. The legends of his devoting Mother are famous in China.
A classic Chinese idiom is 孟母三遷, 'Mencius's mother moves three times' refers to the legend that Meng's mother moved houses three times before finding a suitable environment for Meng's childhood and education.
Today the idiom is used in relation to the importance of finding a proper environment for raising children.