What Decorations are Used at Chinese New Year?

Thursday, February 8, 2024

As the lunar calendar approaches the auspicious date of Chinese New Year (春节 - Chūnjié), homes and streets across China come alive with vibrant colors and symbolic decorations. Today we delve into the enchanting world of Chinese New Year decorations, discovering the profound meanings behind each adornment and the joyous spirit they bring to the festivities.

Red Lanterns (红灯笼 - Hóng dēnglóng)

Symbol of Good Luck:

Red lanterns, suspended from doorways and trees, illuminate the streets with their warm glow. Red symbolizes luck and happiness in Chinese culture, making these lanterns an essential decoration 装饰 (zhuāng shì) for inviting prosperity into the home.

Tradition Meets Innovation:

While traditional red lanterns are still prevalent, modern designs incorporate innovative shapes and patterns, blending tradition with contemporary aesthetics. Lantern festivals are held across China during Chinese New Year, showcasing elaborate displays of these luminous symbols.

装饰 (zhuāng shì), noun, decoration

Examples:

  1. The decoration of this room is very beautiful.
    这个房间的装饰非常漂亮。
    Zhège fángjiān de zhuāngshì fēicháng piàoliang.
  2. I like to decorate my home during the holidays.
    我喜欢在节日里给家里做装饰。
    Wǒ xǐhuān zài jiérì lǐ gěi jiālǐ zuò zhuāngshì.

Spring Couplets (春联 - Chūnlián)

Blessings in Calligraphy:

Spring couplets, written in elegant calligraphy on red paper, adorn doorways and walls. These poetic verses convey blessings for the New Year, prosperity, health, and harmony 和谐 (hé xié)The characters are carefully chosen for their auspicious meanings.

Doorway Guardians:

Placing spring couplets on either side of the doorway is believed to ward off evil spirits and invite good fortune into the home. The couplets are often exchanged among friends and family as a gesture of well-wishing for the coming year.

和谐 (hé xié), noun, harmony

Examples:

  1. Harmony within the family is the foundation of happiness.
    家庭中的和谐是幸福的基础。
    Jiātíng zhōng de héxié shì xìngfú de jīchǔ.
  2. The harmonious atmosphere in the community makes people feel at ease.
    社区里的和谐氛围让人感到安心。
    Shèqū lǐ de héxié fēnwéi ràng rén gǎndào ānxīn.

Fu Character (福字 - Fúzì)

Symbol of Blessings:

The "福" (Fú) character, meaning "blessings" or "good fortune," is a ubiquitous decoration during Chinese New Year. It is often displayed upside down as "倒福" (Dào Fú), symbolizing the arrival of blessings.

Everywhere You Look:

The character "福" (Fú) can be found in various forms, from paper cuttings to door hangings to edible treats. Its presence serves as a constant reminder of the abundance of blessings to come in the New Year.

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