Every winter, 1/6 of the world’s population, including 1 billion Chinese people, celebrate the Chinese New Year. The 15-day festival, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice, or according to western calendars, sometime between January 21st and February 19th. The holiday is a time to honor both deities and ancestors, and is also a time to bring family together for feasting.
Today, Chinese New Year is the most important social and economic holiday in China. Over the centuries, celebration festivities have spread all over the world. In fact the biggest celebration outside of China takes place here in the United States.
Just like at Christmas time, as Chinese New Year approaches, homes and commercial businesses like shopping centers, offices and more will be decorated with holiday décor and lighting. The colors of red and gold, together with Chinese lanterns and colorful plants and flowers are the traditions of the season. Here are a few of the ways you can “Deck the Halls” for Chinese New Year.
Bright red lanterns are perhaps the most popular way to celebrate Chinese New Year. You will see lanterns hung on trees in the streets, in the entries to office buildings, and on doors of houses. Hanging a red lantern in front of the door is believed to drive off bad luck. You will need to use C9 or brighter bulbs for your lanterns.
Banners and Scrolls
Red and gold banners with New Year messages of good luck adorn also entrances, providing wishes of prosperity and good fortune for the upcoming year. They may be couplets brushed on paper in Chinese calligraphy, or upside down Good Fortune signs. Red and Gold are lucky colors for the Chinese, as red symbolizes vitality of life and happiness, and gold represents wealth and prosperity. Try trimming your banner or scroll in red or gold string lights.
Plants, Fruits and Flowers
Chinese New Year marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. This is why decorating with plants, fruits and blooming flowers carries special significance. They represent the earth’s coming back to life and prosperous new beginnings. Kumquat and Mandarin Orange trees are symbols of good fortune, wealth and prosperity. Decorate yours with string lights, or highlight them with ground lighting.
The peony is known as “the flower of richness and good luck” in China, and is a favorite New Year decoration. Plants and flowers are extremely popular throughout China, and another good opportunity to use lighting to help highlight and feature them in your décor.
Paper cutting is the art of cutting designs from paper and sticking them to a contrasting background or a transparent surface like a window. The theme of paper cuttings is typically an auspicious plant or animal. Each animal or plant represents a different wish. Use backlighting to shine through your paper cutting and make it really stand out.
If you would like help lighting and decorating your home or business for Chinese New Year or other celebrations from weddings to birthdays to anniversaries and more, look to Mobile Illumination. Our creative lighting and décor designs and installations for special events over the years have included these occasions and many others. Give us a call today to find out more.