If you didn’t know: In Eastern cultures, not just Chinese, the new year officially begins on Friday, February 12, based on the lunar calendar. Referred to as Lunar New Year, it marks the beginning of a multiday celebration (with lots of symbolic and delicious food) to invite prosperity and luck for the next 365 days.
And while family gatherings look a little different these days, there’s no reason you can’t get festive—even if you’re celebrating via Zoom.
To bring in the new year, cities across Asia hold parades (although those will likely be paused this year due to COVID-19 complications), have feasts, and decorate their homes to bring in good tidings. Cleaning the house—metaphorically and literally—is also huge for Lunar New Year, which is why every household tends to go the extra mile in decorating for the holiday.
Like I said, even though this year is different than most (aka more virtual than not), you can still welcome in the Lunar New Year from the safety of your home with these cute and fun decorations.
People typically associate red lanterns (oval-shaped with decorative gold tassels) with Lunar New Year as a way to symbolize the light of the coming year. Some you can hang indoors, using some string. Others float off outdoors with the help of some hot air.
Like food, flowers have meaning in Asian culture. For the Lunar New Year, you can select stems like orchids, which symbolize fertility; peach blossoms for romance; pussy willows, which symbolize growth; and narcissus (aka daffodils) for good fortune.
Many people celebrating the Lunar New Year hang good luck couplets (or two lines of verse that follow the same rhymes or meter) on their doors to welcome passersby into the New Year with them.
Those celebrating often cut designs into red paper and paste them on doors and windows. Simple and cheap!
It’s not uncommon to get new paintings as a symbol for the New Year’s greetings. Some options for ya:
The Chinese knot is a common decorative piece that involves a single strand of rope being knotted into a distinctive shape to represent unity and auspiciousness.
Lunar New Year is sometimes associated with the Chinese zodiac, which is based on a yearly rotation of 12 animals. 2021, if you’re curious, is the year of the ox.
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