The Chinese New Year is fast approaching, and it’s time to deck the halls (or in this case, your home) with traditional decorations that symbolize prosperity, good fortune, and happiness.
But why stop at just any old decorations when you can elevate your space with authentic and meaningful pieces? As we celebrate the Year of the Dragon in 2024, bring cultural flair into your home with our selection of hand-picked Chinese New Year decorations.
From radiant red lanterns to ward off evil spirits to red envelopes filled with money, these decorations are more than just eye-catching accents. They hold centuries of tradition and symbolism, making them the perfect way to honor your ancestors and set the tone for a lucky and prosperous year ahead.
And let’s not forget the Chinese zodiac calendar, a must-have for any Chinese New Year celebration. Discover your zodiac animal and learn about its traits and characteristics.
As you prepare for the Chinese New Year, take a moment to embrace the rich cultural history and significance behind these timeless decorations. Kung Hei Fat Choy!
Lucky Chinese Red Lanterns
Chinese lanterns hold a significant role in every Chinese New Year celebration. These vibrant red lanterns are not only known for ushering in good luck and repelling evil spirits but also serve as a perfect embellishment for your home during the Spring Festival. Yet, the allure of Chinese lanterns transcends their vivid hues and auspicious qualities.
Did you realize that the design of Chinese lanterns has remained unchanged for more than 2,000 years? Indeed, these enduring decorations have been an integral part of Chinese culture for centuries. Legend has it that Chinese lanterns first emerged during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) when they were employed to illuminate temple ceremonies.
In the present day, Chinese lanterns grace residences, thoroughfares, and public areas during the Chinese New Year and various other celebratory events. Their enduring popularity is readily apparent – the harmonious blend of brilliant colors and intricate patterns renders them a striking and captivating addition to any environment.
As you prepare for the Chinese New Year of 2024, contemplate the inclusion of traditional Chinese lanterns in your decor. Not only will they invite good fortune and happiness into your abode, but they will also introduce a touch of cultural heritage and aesthetic splendor.
Chinese New Year Couplets (对联 duìlián /dway-lyen)
Chinese New Year couplets, also known as “chunlian,” are pairs of red paper cuttings with poetic phrases written in gold or black ink. Display these couplets on doors and walls during the Spring Festival to bring good fortune and wealth to your home.
But Chinese New Year couplets are more than just pretty decorations. Each phrase has a specific meaning and is carefully chosen to convey good wishes for the new year. The phrases are often written in classical Chinese and are meant to be read from top to bottom, with the first half of the couplet on the right and the second half on the left.
In addition to bringing good luck, Chinese New Year couplets also serve as social commentary. The phrases can be humorous, inspiring, or thought-provoking and reflect society’s current mood and concerns. So as you prepare for the Chinese New Year 2023, consider adding traditional Chinese New Year couplets to your decorations.
Feng Shui Objects
Feng shui is a traditional Chinese practice that involves the arrangement of objects in a way that promotes balance and harmony in the home. And what better time to bring balance and harmony to your home than during the Chinese New Year?
Many feng shui objects can be used to celebrate the Spring Festival and bring good luck, prosperity, and happiness to your home. One popular feng shui object is the “fu” symbol, which is a character that means good fortune or luck. This symbol is often displayed on red paper and hung in the home during the Chinese New Year.
Another feng shui object used during the Chinese New Year is the “Golden Ingot.” The Golden Ingot is a traditional feng shui symbol of wealth and prosperity.
The Golden Ingot is typically made of metal and has a rectangular shape with rounded corners, symbolizing the ancient currency used in China. It is often inscribed with Chinese characters for “good fortune” or “wealth.”
In feng shui, the Golden Ingot is usually placed in the wealth area of the home, which is the southeast corner. It is also a good idea to keep the Golden Ingot where it can be easily seen, such as on a shelf or mantel.
In addition to these specific feng shui objects, many other items can be used to celebrate the Chinese New Year and bring good luck to the home. These include crystals, bamboo, and lucky plants like the money tree.
Red envelopes, also known as “hongbao,” are a staple of Chinese New Year celebrations. These small, red envelopes are filled with money and are given as gifts to friends, family, and loved ones.
Red envelopes have a long history in China, dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). During this time, it was customary to give red envelopes filled with money to children and servants to protect them from evil spirits. Today, red envelopes are given to children, unmarried adults, and elderly relatives as a symbol of good luck and respect.
In addition to their luck-bringing properties, red envelopes are also a way for families to show love and appreciation for each other. They are often given during special occasions like the Chinese New Year, weddings, and birthdays.
Decorate Using Oranges and Tangerines
It is a good idea to decorate tables for the Chinese New Year using oranges and tangerines. In Chinese culture, oranges and tangerines are symbols of good luck and abundance and are often used as decorations during the New Year. Oranges and tangerines are believed to bring good fortune and prosperity to those who display them. It is also recommended to place trays with sweets and dry fruits on the table to ensure energy fluidization.
Paper cuttings are a popular form of folk art in China that is often used to decorate homes and public spaces during the Chinese New Year. To create a paper cutting, you will need a piece of paper, scissors, and a design or pattern. First, use the scissors to cut out the design or pattern on the paper. The Chinese families decorate the door of their houses with red paper cut in the shape of the word “fu,” which means “luck,” but also with images depicting fishes, bats, and other animals that correspond to the respective year – in this case, the Dragon. Once the paper cutting is complete, it can be hung on a wall or window using tape or glue.
The Kumquat trees symbolize prosperity and luck, so we should decorate our houses on the Chinese New Year with these “golden trees”.
If you want luck and money on Chinese New Year, placing a golden pumpkin on the bedroom nightstands would be good. Also, this will protect you against sickness, and it will maintain a perfect mood.
Every house needs blooming flowers on New Year as a symbol of rebirth. The floral arrangements made of plum, bamboo blossoms, and pine branches were prevalent during this period. The plum flowers symbolize perseverance, the bamboo signifies flexibility, and the evergreen pine symbolizes longevity.
Glass Bowl Full of Fruit
Apart from being used for decoration, in the esoteric world, these pots are used to bring good luck when filled with fruit.
They should be placed in the living room or dining room on Chinese New Year’s night. You can also put cinnamon and vanilla sticks in them. They have a greater power to attract luck when filled with fresh fruit, not plastic.
You should also pay attention to the objects you have in your home, whether decorative or personal, if you know they have brought you good luck, whether it is a dress, a brooch, a piece of jewelry, or anything else.
Square Plates and Round Teacups
Usually, a platter with oranges and tangerines, candies, and eight types of dry sweet fruits will be placed in the guest room, symbolizing “abundant happiness”. The sweets tray must be round or rectangular, called “the tray of togetherness”. After some sweets are served from this platter, the adults will place them in its center red envelope.
Besides these arrangements, people clean their houses to ward off bad luck and repaint the doors and the window sills, usually with red paint.
Traditionally, each family performs general house cleaning to eliminate any unhappiness in the hope of a better year.
Before the beginning of the holiday, the houses need to be cleaned, and all the cleaning supplies are thrown before the New Year.
One superstition claims that if you sweep during this period, you throw away the luck for the entire year.
Throughout the Spring Festival, large quantities of food are consumed, larger than at any other time.
This massive quantity of food symbolizes abundance and wealth in the house they are served.
During the last evening of the year, people don’t sleep until midnight to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the New Year.
At midnight, they open the doors and windows for ten minutes to let the old year pass and make way for the year just beginning. The evening ends with fireworks to ward off the evil spirits.
Some say that those who don’t follow these rituals and traditions risk not having a good journey in the coming year.