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Lucky charm with a rat/ mouse holding a red banner, carps and chrysanthemum flower Based on the Chinese zodiac’s ‘year of the rat’, the rat/ mouse holds a red banner for good wishes, accompanied by goldfish/carps symbolising abundance of gold and harmony and by chrysanthemum flowers symbolising intellectual accomplishments and longevity. The auspicious colour red to ward off evil spirits is used, showing a left facing swastika, which is the Chinese language character for eternity, symbolising the dharma, the universal harmony and balance of opposites in Buddhism, the involution of the universe in Hinduism. On top goldfish/ carp with red banners and lotus flower symbolising enlightenment; shop’s window, China Town, Bangkok

Photographer:Valeska Gehrmann
© 2008:Valeska Gehrmann at