Chinese New Year Decorations – Five Traditional And Modern Decorations
As part of the New Year celebration, the Chinese start decorating almost a week in advance. The decoration includes the traditional Spring Festival couplets as well as the Fu character images. Both of these are a must on the eve of the New Year. As time passed, the people of China came up with other ideas, and gradually modern decorations started appearing in the houses.
However, the red colour still happens to be the major hue for the Chinese New Year. The 10 most preferred New Year Chinese decorations out of which 5 are the traditional choice while the remaining 5 are the modern ones. Let’s see how much you may be knowing about these.
Five Traditional Chinese New Year Decorations
The Spring Festival Couplets:
These are also referred to as the door couplets. These are pasted on the two surfaces of the door. It symbolizes good wishes on the occasion of the New Year. That way, things look quite elegant and bright. Also, the sentences need to be written in a particular form, and they must be neat and maintain symmetry.
Regarding the content of the couplets, the chosen words or the sentence must covey wishes to others and express auspiciousness for the days ahead. Therefore, it is necessary to observe the couplets since some families may prefer to share their ideas about happiness in their unique way. This practice can be traced back to the Song Dynasty, which was during 960 and 1279. However, it became popular during the Ming dynasty (1368 – 1644) and has been in practice ever since.
Chinese New Year Paintings And Fu Characters:
The Chinese New Year paintings and the Fu characters happen to be essential new year decorations. In Chinese culture, the Fu characters are symbolic of good luck and blessings of the almighty. These frequently appear during the New Year.
It is interesting to note that the Chinese always prefer to paste the characters upside down on the window or door. The inversion is called ‘Dao’, and its pronunciation is the same as ‘coming’ in Chinese.
An inverted Fu character in the Chinese culture indicates that good fortune is on its way. In a Chinese New Year painting, the images are many. Some might be pictures of a legendary personality, while some might be a God from Chinese mythology. The popular figures of God happen to be the God of Wealth and the Door God. The former is believed to help a person make money, while the latter is supposed to keep a person safe.
Chinese Red Lanterns:
The Chinese Red Lanterns happen to be a folk handicraft that is quite ancient. These are symbolic of the Chinese culture and typical decoration, apart from the Chinese New Year, in many Chinese festivals like the Mid Autumn Festival and the Lantern Festival.
These red lanterns can be seen in streets, parks, shops, and private homes throughout the nation during the time of the new year. According to Chinese culture, a red lantern depicts happiness, vitality, prosperity and togetherness. On the day of the new year, a red lantern on the front door lights up the entrance and symbolizes that there is a lot of hope in the coming year.
The Chinese knots are a handicraft that has an interesting history. In olden times, the knots were used for simple recordings. Later on, these were used in interior decorations and also as gifts to relatives and friends. It also happens to be a popular New Year decoration in China.
The Chinese knot is made from a single rope. Several such single knots are grouped to form a complex one. There can be a variety of shapes, and each of these conveys a different meaning. However, the names are always associated with auspiciousness and safety. As a result, people use knots for decorating rooms during the New Year because of the beautiful design and the special meaning.
Paper cuttings are another way of Chinese New year decoration. It is folk art, and the cutting is either using a knife or scissor. The cuttings are customarily placed on doors, windows or walls. These are symbolic of wishes for a bright future for the Chinese people. The designs of the paper cuttings resemble the various zodiac signs relates to the new year. According to the Chinese tradition, these are also related to Xi, Shou, Lu and Fu that are lucky characters. These characters relate to happiness, longevity, wealth and good luck. Apart from these, legendary Chinese stories and auspicious plants might also be the theme of the paper cuttings.
Five Modern Chinese New Year Decorations
Monkey Tree, Lucky Bamboo and Kumquat Tree – Auspicious Green Plants:
Green plants happen to be the compulsory home decorations during the Chinese New year. Many of the plants have been nicknamed like Money Tree, Coin Tree and Lucky Bamboo. As the name suggests, these plants represent good fortune and wealth.
The Kumkat tree gives rich fruits, and so it denotes money and good luck. These are quite popular in the southern areas of China.
Flowers – Peach Flower and Butterfly Orchid:
The butterfly orchid looks elegant and blooms with grace at the time of the Chinese New Year. It is the first choice when it comes to decorating the room. It is believed that the pink peach blossoms help to exorcise evil spirits and represents romance and prosperity. The rising buds of the pussy willow depict an excellent career ahead.
The red fabric has become pretty standard. The Chinese replace the window curtains, cushions, beddings and table cloth with a red coloured one since it is the symbol of happiness. After all, it is a good thing to change the colour to match the other decorations.
On every Chinese New Year, the zodiac changes. There are 12 zodiac symbols, and each year represents a particular zodiac animal. The zodiac is treated as a mascot, and accordingly, people buy cute looking animals to match the zodiac sign.