tr?id=452824429410686&ev=PageView&noscript=1 Why are auspicious colours used during the Chinese Lunar New Year?
31 January 2019

Pig CNY Zodiac Artwork 2019

Chinese Lunar New Year is one cultural holiday that all Chinese worldwide celebrates. It is a Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar which is also referred to as the Spring Festival. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February.  In 2019, the first day of the Lunar New Year will be on Tuesday, 5 February, initiating the Year of the pig. The celebrations traditionally begin on New Year’s Eve (16th February this year) and can last for up to 15 days. The festivities are a time for family reunion, food, reflection, and welcoming in a prosperous coming year. Sumptuous and abundant, the reunion dinner served on Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Chinese New Year is one of the world's most prominent and celebrated festivals, and is the cause of the largest annual mass human migration in the world. It is a major holiday in Greater China and has strongly influenced the Lunar New Year celebrations of China's neighboring cultures, including the Korean New Year (seol), the Tết of Vietnam, and the Losar of Tibet. It is also celebrated worldwide in regions and countries with significant Overseas Chinese populations these including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines and Mauritius, as well as many countries in North America and Europe.

Chinese New Year is associated with several myths and customs. The festival was traditionally a time to honour the Chinese Gods and ancestors.  Almost all Chinese will observe by the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day is frequently regarded as an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner.

Weeks before the dinner, it is also traditional for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck. Another custom is the decoration of windows and doors with red auspicious paper-cuts and couplets. Popular themes among these paper-cuts and couplets include that of good fortune or happiness, wealth, and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes. For the northern regions of China, dumplings are featured prominently in meals celebrating the festival. In some countries, they will mark the celebrations with lavish street parades and dazzling firework displays. Whether it be the lanterns hanging from doorways, the spectacular dragon brought to life by dancers or the red pocket envelopes containing gifts; the use of the colors red and gold can be seen everywhere as a representation of prosperity and good fortune.

From red lanterns to red envelopes, did you ever wonder why the color red is so popular in China, especially on the Chinese New Year? Legend has it that it all began with the Nian, a ferocious beast that would terrorize villagers on the New Year, eating crops, livestock, and even children. But villagers learned that this half bull with a lion head was afraid of three things: fire, noise, and the color red. Nian was defeated, and from then on, the color red was considered to bring good luck and good fortune to all. Lucky for you, you don’t need to defeat a ferocious beast to celebrate the Chinese New Year–all you need to do is get your red on. Here are other Chinese New Year traditions we can all celebrate.

“Usually red lanterns are hung outside the doors to ward off bad luck,” suggests Karen Katz, author of the 2012 picture book My First Chinese New Year. “Also red cutout papers are used as decorations to hang on the walls. If you live near a Chinese neighborhood you should be able to purchase these items, but if not, go online and order them. You can also make your own cutouts.” This is the history behind Chinese New Year.

Although the traditional art of paper-cut is handcrafted with a knife, it’s easy to make your own red paper cutouts (Jianzhi) for the Chinese New Year at home. Similar to cutting out paper snowflakes, all you need are a sharp pair of scissors and some red paper to make these festive red Chinese New Year decorations to hang on your windows. And like snowflakes, no paper cutouts are alike; in fact, some are amazing works of art that have been included in museum collections.

What does RED signify? It symbolizes good fortune and happiness in Chinese culture and it is found everywhere during the Chinese New Year.  Customarily, on Chinese New Year, the elders give the younger ones a red envelope to welcome in the New Year. These envelopes signify blessings.  The red envelope is also a symbol of prosperity.  Red is also the color in Chinese weddings, representing good luck, joy and happiness, thus, red should not be worn on funerals. Red when used properly, will bring the desired energy into your home. Color is really easy to bring into your home, as well as change as often as needed with little or no commitment. A red pillow or a red wall or blanket can bring an immediate spark into your space without too much effort or investment. It is always good to know, feng shui-wise, what energy a specific color will bring into your space, so if red is the color you are considering for any area of your home, let's look into its power. Red color carries the energy of the Fire feng shui element. Fire has always been a symbol of divine energy and can be both destructive and creative. Fire represents the energy of sun and life. A balanced feng shui fire element in your home will bring joy, excitement, and strong sexual desire. An imbalance of the same element will bring fiery arguments, restlessness and even aggression (too much Fire) or a lack of energy and enthusiasm for life (too little Fire). The feng shui energy of color red is the energy of arousal. It is hot, passionate, rich and celebratory.

Red is the Chinese color of luck and happiness, the marriage color in India, and the symbolic color of love and romance courage, and passion in the West.
In feng shui using red color always signifies richness, luck and luxury. If used too much, though, it can bring bursts of anger and over stimulation. Better use it with caution, always easier to bring red color in your decor with details and accessories, rather than with furnishings or wall color.

Feng shui-wise, use color red with most moderation in children's rooms, freely in the living room, the dining room and the kitchen. If the idea of bringing red color into your home is not that appealing, you can experiment with many different tones of red - from brick red to plum red, or bring the desired feng shui Fire element energy with its other colours, such as yellow, purple, coral or pink.

The other popular colour favoured by Chinese will be Yellow/Gold! It is considered the most beautiful color. The Chinese saying, Yellow generates Yin and Yang, implies that yellow is the center of everything. Yellow symbolizes good luck and is sometimes paired with red in place of gold.  Golds and yellows are the darlings of a good feng shui home. Both colors are the expression of the vital energy of the sun that brings light and life to all beings. Gold is very popular in feng shui because of its association with money and wealth, and yellow is the color of happiness and warmth. Cheerful and welcoming, both bring quite similar feng shui energy to a home, so we'll explore them together. Explore this metallic gold mural wall from Phillip Jeffries. You don't need an upscale living room to enjoy the golden energy of yellow. A modern room can have as much golden energy as an obviously golden luxury decor. This modern room is enveloped in a soft glow of gentle yellow, which is supported by the golden tones in the flooring and the wooden furniture.

A soft butter yellow color brings a gentle fire feng shui element energy into this space. Do you have a room in your home that can benefit from a soothing and gentle yellow color? Slipcovers and curtains are an excellent way to bring the happiness of yellow into your home. You can't possibly feel sad or lonely in a room with yellow! If you go for natural fabrics, combine several different textures and add small accents in complementary colors. You can create an eternal sunroom for yourself.

For good feng shui, every home need at least a bit of yellow. But why go for just a bit? The easiest way to bring a golden glow into your home is with yellow candles or baskets that have a golden tint to them. Put the two together — candles and baskets — and you have a sunny warm spot in any area of your house. You can feel the sweetness of honey and sunshine just by looking at this photo. Warm sunshine, sweet honey, precious gold — the associations that yellow brings is always cheerful and positive. Yellow is one of the best feng shui colors for the kitchen. It's an expression of the fire element and it's associated with gold, so the kitchen holds the feng shui energy of abundance. And it's an excellent color to aid digestion. Find your best yellow — from a deep mustard to a soft butter yellow, there are so many to choose from. See if the color will make your kitchen look brighter and happier. You can bring yellow into your kitchen with the wall color, the color of a chair or the color of your toaster — it all depends on your overall kitchen decor.

Aside from the family reunion dinner, we also get into the festive spirit by decorating in red, yellow and gold, the auspicious colours for the season. If you’re in search for some inspiration on how to incorporate these traditional colours into your home, you can look up to these wall covers, fabrics and carpets for some ideas.