A folktale goes that a feudal lord captures a mandarin duck for its plumage thus causing the duck to become miserable and to slowly die of loneliness. The servant maid of the lord and her samurai lover sees the love and loyalty between the mandarin ducks, so the two reunite the separated ducks against the lords wishes. The lovers are condemned to death by the lord and this is where the popular use of mandarin ducks in Feng Shui is said to have originated.
Mandarin ducks themselves are popular in use for relationships and love, obviously due to the love they show each other with pairs mating for life. In a natural habitat one can see why mandarin ducks are seen as symbols for love, a pair of a male and female mandarin ducks are always seen close together, rarely alone. It is a legend that states that mandarin ducks, when it loses its partner, will die of loneliness.
In use in Feng Shui a pair of mandarin ducks should be placed within the south west of a house, or the south west of the bedroom. The mandarin ducks are said to allow whomever owns the pair and anyone near it to possibly become more lovable and more attractive to another, and for couples a pair of mandarin ducks will keep the couple happy.
It is suggested that singles keep a pair of mandarin ducks facing each other by their bed to help get a lasting partner, if a married couple does the same it will help keep a strong and enduring relationship.