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5 Best Traditional Chinese New Years Decorations | 2024 Reveal

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Lynn 31 May, 2024 7 min read

When it’s the time of Chinese New Year, every home is filled with colourful, vibrant colours, auspicious Chinese New Years decorations and symbols. Traditional Chinese New Years decorations are often essential in creating an atmosphere of renewal and prosperity.

Are you ready to dive into the world of fun and festive decorations ideas? In this article, we’ll share some of the best, timeless Chinese New Years decorations ideas that embody the rich symbolism of the celebration.

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Red is the Key for Chinese New Years decorations

examples of chinese new years decorations
Source: China Highlights

In Chinese culture, red is the colour of good luck and prosperity. During new year’s time, households change their window curtains, beddings, sofa cushions and tablecloths into red to bring the sense of good luck into their homes. There are few other ways to incorporate red into home decorations such as:

Red lanterns

You will often see Chinese lanterns in many important festivals such as Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Lantern Festival. They are hung in streets, shops, restaurants, and in private households. 

Red door couplets 

New Year couplets are brush works of Chinese calligraphy in black ink on red paper. They are usually used in pairs since even numbers are associated with luck and auspiciousness in Chinese culture. 

Flower arrangements

Beautiful flowers are one of the best Chinese New Years decorations. Most popular flowers during this period are mostly about good omen and fortune such as the plum blossoms that usually bloom with grace and elegance exactly during Lunar New Year.

Bonus: While plum blossoms are tradition, you can consider a contemporary twist with blossom branches. Artificial blossoms in vibrant colours can bring the feel of spring indoors, marking the renewal and the coming of prosperity.

Chinese Zodiac Animals

Another year coming means another zodiac of the new year. There are 12 zodiac signs including Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit (also sometimes referred to as Cat), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Based on the basis of the twelve-year cycle, the animal of the year will change accordingly and people often have different ways to decorate their houses with zodiac animals such as paper cutouts, figurines, centrepieces, banners and wall art. This adds a playful and artistic element to homes while honouring tradition.

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Fu Character 

The Fu character means “blessing and good fortune” in Chinese, that’s why it appears frequently in the new year. One interesting fact is that people always choose to stick it upside down since the inversion in Chinese called Dao and it has the same pronunciation as “coming” in Chinese. An inverted Fu character, therefore, means that blessing and good fortune are coming. 

Source: I-Study China

Green plants and elegant Bonsai Trees

Green plants are one of the must-buy home Chinese New Years decorations and some of the most popular plants are Lucky Bamboos, Money trees and Coin trees. As their names imply, these trees are symbols of wealth and good fortune.

Kumquat trees with rich, round fruits also symbolise a similar wish. In Mandarin, the kumquat is called jinju shu (金桔树 jīnjú shù /jin-jyoo shoo/), and the word jin (金) is the Chinese word for gold.The word not only sounds like the Chinese word for ‘good luck’ (吉 jí /jee/), but also contains the Chinese character  桔 when written down.

Another green option to create a sense of tranquillity and refinement is miniature bonsai trees decorated with red and ornaments. This minimalist yet elegant touch can be placed on tables and mantelpieces, adding a touch of nature to your decor.

There are also several lesser known plants that have become more and more common as Chinese new years decorations. One of them is an indoor plant Kalanchoe, which means thousands of red and ten thousands of purple in Chinese and represents longevity and happiness forever.

Tea Sets 

Tea plays a crucial cultural role in Chinese traditions, and serving tea is often considered a gesture of hospitality, and a well-set tea display can add elegance to your home. To give your home a more vibrant look and feel, do not hesitate to bring out the finest tea sets and arrange them on a table. Beautifully crafted tea sets also ensure your table setting rings in the new year in the best way, making it a wonderful experience to the welcoming guest time.

Traditional Calligraphy Art

Incorporating traditional Chinese calligraphy artwork or calligraphy featuring New Year blessings or phrases is a great way to fill a home with traditional, festive energy. The art of calligraphy has been passed down from generation to generation, reflecting the writer’s soul. Each writer has their own writing style that showcases their knowledge and experience, that’s why many families often go to one same writer every year to get some nice calligraphy art piece to wish for a good new year.

Conclusion

Let the fun and festivities flow as you embark on your Chinese New Year decoration adventure! From lanterns to Fu characters and calligraphy art, each idea is designed to bring you joy, laughter, and positivity during the decorating process. Happy decorating and happy new year!

Frequently Asked Questions

What do the Chinese decorate for Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year decorations are characterised by vibrant colours, especially red. Common ideas for decorations include red lanterns, red couplets, plum blossoms, green plants and bonsai trees, Chinese zodiac animals, Fu characters, Tea sets or traditional calligraphy art.

When to decorate for Chinese New Year 2023?

The timing for Chinese new year decorations varies, but typically begins a few weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year to allow ample time to embrace the festive atmosphere.

What are the colours for Chinese New Years decorations?

The primary colours for Chinese New Years decorations are red and gold. While red symbolises good luck, happiness and has the ability to ward off evil spirits, gold is associated with wealth and prosperity. Gold accents often complement red decorations. People often opt for a combination of red and gold to create a joyful atmosphere. Some families also extend their colour palette to white and silver. Although white and silver are not as dominant, they can be used to add some contrast and more elegance.