Chinese New Year decorations are everywhere these days and everyone seems to be hurrying home with paper decorations. Red and gold are the primary colors for Chinese New Year with the lucky color red symbolising happiness and vitality. Gold symbolises wealth and good fortune. These decorations are hung on doors and in windows to usher in a happy and prosperous New Year. Red is also thought to scare away the legendary man-eating beast, Nian, who comes down from the mountains every new year to steal people away.
Homes are adorned with paper banners and cut-outs, paper lanterns, new plants and flowers and images of the pig, which is this year’s zodiac animal. These paper scrolls and squares are written with blessings and wishes of good luck, prosperity, wealth, longevity, and happiness for the new year. The decorations are usually hung upside down because they symbolise the arrival of spring. When hung upside down, one can read ‘dao’ which is the homonym for ‘arrival’ in Mandarin.
There is so much energy and festivity in the air right now, one can’t help but feel the excitement as the week winds to a end and everyone is rushing home to be with family. To all my friends around the world, I wish you a safe, prosperous and happy New Year. Spring is coming! Gong xi fa cai!