Top 7 Decorations for Chinese New Year
We are so excited to be celebrating the Year of Rat starting on 25 Jan 2020. There is a 12-year cycle where each year is represented by a specific animal. People born in 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 and 2008 are Rats! Chinese New Year is the time of the year where the family gathers, chatting drinking cooking and enjoying delicious meals together, similar to Christmas in the UK.
While I am prepping for my Chinese New Year party with my family and friends in London, the first thing I think of is to clean the house and put up some festive decorations. Let me tell you how Chinese people decorate their home for Chinese New Year.
1. Spring Festival Couplets
The Spring Festival Couplets are usually placed on both sides of the door for good wishes and luck for the New Year. The calligraphy is usually written on red paper for the lunar new year. The couplets on both sides of the door should have either an identical or complementary format and rhythm.
2. Fu Posters
Fu is a Chinese character meaning happiness and good fortune in English. It is usually written on a square red paper with Chinese Calligraphy. These square posters then are placed onto walls, doors, and windows. Some like to place the poster upside down (Dao) since it is a homophone of “here”. The pun is taken as good fortune for the new year has arrived.
3. Chinese Red Lanterns
The Chinese Red Lantern is a traditional folk art that has become one of the symbols of Chinese culture. The lanterns are usually hung in the streets, on shop fronts, in parks, and in homes, to welcome the new year. the red lantern symbolises family reunion, prosperity, happiness and vitality.
4. Chinese Knots
The Chinese knot is a traditional Chinese art, which is usually used for interior decorations or on gifts for friends and relatives. The knot is made from a single rope, with several knots grouped into a complicated pattern. There are a variety of knot shapes, each with a different meaning, usually related to wishes for peacefulness and prosperity.
5. Paper Cuttings
Papercutting art has long been a traditional craft in China. The paper cuttings are usually pasted on the windows, doors or walls and they represent peoples’ good wishes for the new year.
6. Kumquat Trees/Jinji Shu
The kumquat tree/Jinji Shu symbolises prosperity and good luck as the word ‘kum/jin’ in Cantonese and Mandarin means ‘gold’ and the word ‘quat/ji’ in Cantonese and Mandarin means good luck.
Last but not least, flowers are a popular decoration for Chinese New Year.
The most popular choices of flowers are; orchids which symbolise fertility and abundance, peach blossoms which symbolise romance, prosperity, and growth, plum blossoms which symbolise perseverance and reliability, peonies which symbolise richness and peace, pussy willow which is a sign of growth and the incoming prosperity in the new year, and narcissis or water fairy flowers which symbolise good fortune and prosperity. The big bonus for the flower decorations is they also look and smell lovely!
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