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Fortune Cat - What does it symbolise?

If you’ve ever visited a Chinese or Japanese restaurant, Asian supermarket, or any shop in Chinatown, you’ve probably noticed a little cat figurine perched quietly by the cash register.

This figurine is known as Fortune Cat or Maneki Neko in Japanese, which means “beckoning cat.” This lucky cat charm is very popular in Chinese as well as Japanese cultures. The Chinese believe that the cat will bring good luck and fortune to its owners. As such, it’s very common to find one on display in stores, restaurants and other businesses.

The Fortune Cat would often have its paw raised as if it’s waving in good fortune for its owners. If the cat’s left paw is raised this is to attract customers. If the right paw is raised, this invites good fortune and money. You can sometimes find a Fortune Cat with both of its paws in the air!

So the next time you walk past or visit an Asian shop, try to look out for the Fortune Cat and see which of its paws are raised. Do take a photo of it and don’t forget to tag us at #bilingualbees!

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