5 Decoration Tips for Chinese New Year
WE'RE NOT FENGSHUI MASTER BUT THESE DECORATION TIPS WILL ABSOLUTELY ADORN YOUR HOUSE WITH MUCH FESTIVE VIBES.
Traditionally, a Chinese family will put on decorative ornaments on the eve of Chinese New Year. However, as the festive vibes step in, many modern families wouldn't mind as to when to decorate their houses. After all, the sooner the merrier! Red is considered auspicious in Chinese culture, so when you see adornments everywhere, you'll know Chinese New Year is just around the corner. This year is the Year of Rat, so it's common to see rat decorations everywhere :)
We've compiled 8 useful tips to prepare your house into celebration. Here you go:
1. Inverted 'Fu'（福）Character
To Chinese community, the fu（福）character means 'good fortune'. Hence, the deliberately-inverted fu characters on or over the doors symbolises 'good fortune' to "pour out" on them and come through door!
2. Red Lanterns
Chinese lanterns are definitely one of the most iconic decorative items during major Chinese festivals, especially during Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival. Be it small or large, globular or in any other shape, when you see Chinese lanterns hung along the streets, in buildings or even in the parks, you know something festive is making its way. Chinese lanterns are typically believed to drive off bad luck, so it's absolutely a must when we speak about decorating houses for Chinese New Year.
This is an interesting tutorial to learn how to make star lantern with red packets:
3. Kumquat Trees
If you think there're too many red items and something more freshening is needed to complete the style, then kumquat trees are a good option. In Cantonese, the kumquat is made of two syllables - 'gam' and 'gat'. 'Gam' (金) is the Cantonese word for 'gold' where as 'gat' (吉) means 'auspicious'. Therefore, kumquat trees are popularly placed at Chinese houses during Chinese New Year to welcome wealth and good luck.
4. Door Couplets
New Year couplets (对联) are often pasted at the sides of doors before Chinese New Year. Normally, couplets are pasted in a pairs, as even numbers are believed to be auspicious. On the couplets, good wishes are expressed in calligraphy, it'sbrushed on red paper in black ink. Most of the time, the message on these couplets involve the arrival or spring. However, it could also be a core value or a wish that the family wants to instil in family, such as harmony among family members, success in every endeavour etc.
Here's a tutorial video, if you wish to write your own spring couplets:
5. Plum Blossom Flowers
Plum blossom is an important Chinese symbol of prosperity and plays a significant role in the Chinese New Year celebration. In China, plum blossoms will flower in bitter winter from branches which seem lifeless. Therefore, Chinese believe that plum blossom is an important emblem of hope and courage. However, in Malaysia, of course, we can hardly expect plum blossom plants anywhere. The good news is, you can still buy manmade ones to decorate your house. After all, it's the message that counts.
Chinese New Year is just a few days away. It's not too late to spring clean and decorate your house now. Join the celebration of this festival, go home and go back to your loved ones. Happy Chinese New Year :)