Red Fish Chinese Knot Hanging Ornament Displayed at Hollywood East Cafe

Object Details

textile, plastic
47 7/16 × 18 9/16 × 1 3/4 in. (120.5 × 47.2 × 4.5 cm)
Cite As
Gift of Janet Yu and Family
This hanging ornament decorated the banquet hall at Hollywood East Café, a popular Chinese restaurant specializing in Cantonese and Hong Kong style cuisine in Wheaton, MD. The hall was a popular venue for weddings, funerals, and cultural events of the Chinese American community across the Washington DC area. The ornament uses Chinese knotting technique or zhōngguó jié, a traditional Chinese folk art macrame practice dating back to the Shang Dynasty (c.1600-1046 BCE). At the center are two red kissing fish, which are auspicious symbols of wealth and prosperity in Chinese mythology due to the tonal similarities between the words for “fish” and “abundance”. The knots and tassels surrounding the fish motif are also symbolic of wealth, fortune, and prosperity. This includes the prominent “cloverleaf” knot pattern found on the bottom. Cloverleafs, similar to Western tradition, are also symbols of good luck and fortune in Chinese mythology.
Accession Number
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
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Anacostia Community Museum
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