New Year Decorations
New Year's Day, Chinese families decorate their living
rooms with vases of pretty blossoms, platters of oranges
and tangerines and a candy tray with eight varieties of
dried sweet fruit. On walls and doors are poetic
couplets, happy wishes written on red paper. These
messages sound better than the typical fortune cookie
messages. For instance, "May you enjoy continuous
good health" and "May the Star of Happiness,
the Star of Wealth and the Star of Longevity shine on
you" are especially positive couplets.
Chinese household should also have live blooming plants
to symbolize rebirth and new growth. Flowers are
believed to be symbolic of wealth and high positions in
one's career. Lucky is the home with a plant that blooms
on New Year's Day, for that foretells a year of
prosperity. In more elaborate settings, plum blossoms
just starting to bloom are arranged with bamboo and pine
sprigs, the grouping symbolizing friends & endash;
the plum blossom also signifies reliability and
perseverance; the bamboo is known for its compatibility,
its utility and its flexible stems for furniture and
other articles; the evergreen pine evokes longevity and
steadiness. Other highly prized flowers are the pussy
willow, azalea, peony and water lily or narcissus.
The Chinese firmly
believe that without flowers, there would be no
formation of any fruits. Therefore, it is of the utmost
importance to have flowers and floral decorations.
They are the emblems of
reawakening of nature, they are also intimately
connected with superstition and with the wish for
happiness during the ensuing year.
|Good Luck Couplets
are an important feature of the
celebrations for the Chinese New Year. One
of the main forms of decoration are the
'Red Couplets', which are Chinese good
luck sayings written on red paper, often
with gold trimmings and usually made up of
four Chinese characters which ask for luck
in terms of long life, wealth etc.
Red is not only a
lucky colour for the Chinese, but also
frightens off the monster 'Nian' who
arrives at this time of year and destroys
crops and homes.
Some New Year
couplets are intended to be pasted or
pinned in special places such as the
kitchen or doors, while some can be placed
anywhere. The couplets are usually taken
down after the New Year celebrations,
though some people keep them up all year
long in the hope of keeping good luck.
dictates that you must bring a bag of oranges and
tangerines and enclose a lai see when visiting family or
friends anytime during the two-week long Chinese New
Year celebration. Tangerines with leaves intact assure
that one's relationship with the other remains secure.
For newlyweds, this represents the branching of the
couple into a family with many children. Oranges and
tangerines are symbols for abundant happiness.
tray arranged in either a circle or octagon is called
"The Tray of Togetherness" and has a dazzling
array of candy to start the New Year sweetly. After
taking several pieces of candy from the tray, adults
places a red envelope (lai see) on the center
compartment of the tray. Each item represents some kind
of good fortune.
Candied melon - growth
and good health
* Red melon seed - dyed
red to symbolize joy,happiness, truth and sincerity
* Lychee nut - strong
* Cumquat - prosperity
* Coconut -
* Peanuts - long life
* Longnan - many good
* Lotus seed - many