Considered a good omen for happiness, the spider, xǐ zi (蟢子), sounds identical to ‘happiness’, xǐ (喜). It has come to be known as the 'happy insect,’ and a picture of a spider dropping from the center of its web is a rebus for 'happiness dropping from the sky’. xǐ cóng tiān jiàng (喜從天降). The web resembles ancient money, because it is round on the outside and square on the inside (外圓內方). The square hole in the web is considered an eye and therefore expresses 'happiness before one's eyes’, xǐ zài yǎn qián (喜在眼前).


Vivien Sung, Five-Fold Happiness: Chinese Concepts of Luck, Prosperity, Longevity, Happiness and Wealth, pp. 186-187, Chronicle Books, 2002