Calligraphy written on t-shirt

I'm trying to decipher the calligraphy on this t-shirt. I've tried drawing the characters into Pleco but I can't really tell stroke from embellishment. I'd be grateful if someone could show me the regular typed version of each character and the English translation. It's a very cool t-shirt. Thanks for the help.

2 Answers 2


龍鳳呈祥 english meaning: dragon pheonix auspiciousness. An idiom for extremely good fortune or lucky events. Also used to describe clothes etc. decorated with dragons and pheonixes for said auspiciousness, like here.

The calligraphy is traditional characters, here is simplified for reference 龙凤呈祥 in case thats what you are studying.

  • I feel incredibly lucky to have this shirt now. Thanks so much for the explanation.
    – bsanders36
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 4:06

龍(dragon)鳳(Feng)呈(to preset)祥(good luck, good omen; happiness).

Note: Feng is the shortened name of Fenghuang (Feng-huang), or misleadingly, Chinese phoenix in Chinese mythology, is an immortal bird whose rare appearance is said to be an omen foretelling harmony at ceremonies, such as marriage.

鳳凰(Fenghuang) enter image description here

Greek Phoenix enter image description here

  • 鳳凰 as the full name is just the gender distinct or yin yang version, with 鳳male and 凰female chinese pheonix. Where as it being shortened to just 鳳 often is assuming female for 鳳龍 pairings, yes? I am confused by you saying it's misleading to call it the chinese phoenix, maybe I misunderstood something.
    – zagrycha
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 3:20
  • Yes, it is confusing. 鳳凰 is a pair of mysterious Chinese birds, with 鳳 as the male, and 凰 as the female, but 鳳 is considered female in 龍鳳 paring, it was also symbolized for the queen, while 龍 was for the king/emperor. Note, in nowhere 凰 is used without 鳳.
    – r13
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 3:45
  • The phoenix is an immortal bird associated with Greek mythology (with analogs in many cultures) that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associated with the sun, ...en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)
    – r13
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 3:52
  • After replying to your post, I looked into it and I think I understand what you mean by misleading, I'm now aware of the issue of some thinking fenghuang/chinese pheonix is actually similar to the western pheonix. I personally never had this idea of confusing them before, so was initially confused by your comment. I will say for any other readers, that this lack of a better word to translate goes both ways: every chinese text I've ever read with western pheonixes has also used 鳳, only the different behavior and setting clarifies.
    – zagrycha
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 3:54
  • 1
    Not only is there a "confusion" regarding 鳳 as the "Chinese Phoenix", but also the 龍 as the alter ego of the Dragon in Western mythology. It is another example of interpreting another culture or cultural history from the inculcated standpoint of one's own. The Chinese, (using this designation loosely), are equally guilty of complacent acceptance. Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 5:13

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