This is one of my favourite piece of art. An amazing skill or caring. Well and fine work, very precise and an eye catching piece. Most of this carving are use as a good ointment in the art of feng shui.
Following are some explanation on it.
Although in modern times, we call the spider Zhi Zhu (蜘蛛), it was also called Xi Zi (喜子) or more affectionately as the HAPPY spider in the old days. Xi is a homonym of Xi (喜) which means good fortune. So the common phrase of Xi Zi Tian Lai (喜子天来) refers to a spider coming down from above, which means the arrival of good news or a happy event.
This is often depicted in auspicious paintings. Sometimes even with the cobweb resembling that of the octagon bagua.
Spiders in Chinese culture
Spiders can often be found on artwork especially embroideries. It’s just that they are small and often escape the observation of the moving eye.
When a spider is dangling from a thread accompanied by bats below, it is a symbol that represents longevity.
This is hardly surprising as the red bat is associated with the same meanings as the spider.
Red spider have also been discovered as ancient ornaments unearthed by archeologists.
There are also artwork that depicts the 3-legged frog looking at a spider hanging from a web above. This undoubtedly has wealth luck connotations.
Besides the beliefs around spiders listed above, there is also a strong relation with the return of a son or a visit from a welcomed guest.
There’s a story behind this.
It was said that an unnamed woman who lived alone in an old house, sewing dresses to get by a day at a time. What she really longed for was the return of her son who had traveled vast distances for work. One day when she was deep in thought of her son’s face, a spider lowered itself and dangles in front of her. She found this occurance puzzling as she had always kept the house clean. She took it as a good omen and a sign from the heavens that the day she had always been dreaming of is arriving. And alas, the filial son returned home the next day.
If you can somehow make out your initials on a spider web, it is said to be extremely good luck with good fortune coming your way for a long time.