The Chinese New Year is quickly approaching, and if you are like most people, you’ve started thinking of how you will decorate your house.
Many people choose to usher in the New Year with Chinese decorations.
Besides making your home beautiful, they hold special meanings and could invite luck into your home.
When Should You Put Up and Take Down Chinese New Year Decorations?
Before we talk about the timing, we should mention that the Chinese New Year will fall on January 22nd, 2023. Some people decorate their houses way early before the festival begins.
However, most people wait until Chinese New Year’s Eve to decorate their houses. It’s believed that these decorations help keep evil spirits away and attract longevity, health, peace, and blessings.
When taking down Chinese New Year decorations, the time frame also depends on the individual. Some people let their decorations hang until the following spring festival. But others are taken down 15 days after the celebrations.
Some decorations are removed after the Lantern festival, which is the first moon after the New year. But others, like gods and door titles, might be left until the following year.
It’s also worth noting that some people will let their decorations stay up until they fall on their own. And some shops and cities begin to hang their decorations and remove them at the end of February.
Eleven Chinese New Year Decorations
Now that you know when to put up and take down your Chinese decorations, you may be wondering which decorations to use in your household.
Let’s look at some of the best decorations to bring you good luck and chase away evil spirits.
1. Red Lanterns
Most people love to hang them on buildings, doors of houses, and trees in the streets during the Chinese New Year.
They are believed to drive bad luck away and invite blessings.
2. Paper Cutting
Although paper cutting craft can be seen in all seasons, it is most prominent in the Spring Festival.
These arts are usually placed on windows, which is why their literal translation is “window flower.” The paper cuttings feature different symbols and words traditionally made of paper.
They can include fish, grains, dragons, peaches, phoenixes, and other symbols.
Fish symbolizes blessings, dragons and peaches represent legends and folktales, while grains represent anticipation for a good harvest.
3. Chinese Firecrackers
These are mostly found outside business establishments. During the new year, they are hanged to symbolize happiness and festivities.
They are generally loud and start the year at a high end. The tradition is to light them in front of homes and stores so that they create noises that can chase away evil spirits.
4. Spring Couplets
Spring Couplets are a tradition that was started over 1000 years ago. Initially, they were carved into tablets from peach trees.
Individuals believed that spirits that came into the mortal world at night would return to the spirit world to a giant peach during the day.
Therefore, they would guard the entrance of this tree with two gods.
As a result, artisans started writing the name of the two gods into the peach wood to keep away the angry spirits. But they later shifted to writing blessings, then later on poetry on red paper.
These days, Spring Couplets feature Chinese calligraphy on red paper and include a blank ink brush.
Different couplets have different meanings depending on what the writer wishes for the new year.
But note that while the format and rhythm may be identical or complementary, the number of words remains the same.
5. Blooming Flowers
The Chinese New Year is known as the Spring Festival. It marks the beginning of spring, so it is not unusual that people would decorate their houses with blooming flowers.
These symbolize the coming of spring and wishes for a prosperous new year. The most popular plants used are orchids, peonies, peach blossoms, and plum blossoms branches.
6. Fu Characters
The Chinese associate the Fu character with ‘blessing’ or ‘good fortune.’ For this reason, the character frequently appears in the New Year.
Something to note is that people paste it upside down on their doors or windows since the ‘dao’ inversion in Chinese is pronounced the same as ‘coming’ in Chinese.
Therefore, hanging a Fu Character incites good fortune in your home.
7. Kumquat Trees
The Kumquat tree is known as gam gat sue in Cantonese.
The word ‘gam; stands for gold, and ‘gat’ means good luck in Cantonese. In Mandarin, this tree is called Jinju shu, Jin which means gold, and the word ju sounds like a Chinese word meaning good luck.
This tree in your home signifies that you’re inviting good luck and wealth. Kumquat trees are usually popular during the Chinese New Year holidays.
8. Door Gods
The Chinese religion has various god types and historical figures. Door types are among these gods. They are paintings of gods that people paste onto their home’s main door.
Since the main entrance usually has two doors, the gods will be placed in pairs.
This god is known as a demon hunter with angry eyes and twisted features. He protects the family from demons or evil spirits. There are many other door gods you can hang.
Before placing them on your door, check around to know their meanings.
9. New Year Paintings
New Year Paintings, also called New Year Prints, are a craft that has existed for more than one thousand years.
Individuals use these paintings to express what they wish for in the New Year.
Although there are many different prints, many feature images of a beautiful woman or a chubby child like a doll. These symbolize a loving family with healthy children.
10. Red Packets
These are common decorations during the Chinese New year because of what they contain. They are envelopes that hold money and are usually given to younger relatives from a married couple. They symbolize success and good luck.
Besides that, the red packets can also be decorations hanging orange, kumquat, and mandarin trees to symbolize extra wealth.
11. Chinese Knots
The Chinese knot has a long history. Individuals in ancient times used them for simple recordings. But gradually, they became decorations and accessories.
Individuals use them as interior decorations or gifts to their loved ones these days.
The knot comes from a single rope. If there are several of them, they can be grouped into a complicated one.
Some knot shapes have specific meanings, and their names are primarily associated with ‘safety’ and ‘auspiciousness.’
For these reasons, most people use them for room decorations during the Chinese New Year for their design and meaning.
It’s also worth noting that there are modern decorations that you can use to welcome the Chinese New Year. These include zodiac animal toys, and red fabric decorations, among others.
The Chinese New Year is an exciting time for many people. Besides making their wishes, it’s also an opportunity to decorate their houses.
We’ve gone through the time frame to put up and take down your Chinese decorations.
But remember, you don’t have to be strict on the timelines. You can hang yours some days before and take them down some days afterwards.
Happy Chinese New Year!