The Top 8 Decorations for Chinese New Year


The most solemn festival in China is the Chinese New Year. As a grand festival of the Chinese nation, Chinese New Year has been inherited for more than 2,000 years. It not is a simple time node, but carries too many feelings, wishes, ethics, beliefs and dreams of the Chinese people. In order to express good wishes for Chinese New Year and to add to the festival atmosphere, it is indispensable to decorate inside and outside the house during Chinese New Year. So here comes the question: how to decorate for Chinese New Year? Now this passage will introduce the top decorations for the Chinese New Year.



Lantern, also known as the colored lantern, is an ancient Chinese traditional handicraft. Originated in the Western Han Dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago, red lanterns symbolizing reunion are hung before Chinese New Year every year to create a festive atmosphere and welcome the arrival of the Spring Festival.

Lanterns,The Top 8 Decorations

Except for streetlamps, which are rarely seen these days and appear in single, lanterns in the home, in most cases, come in pairs. And lanterns in some special activities are numerous. Nowadays, more and more lanterns are powered by electricity instead of fire. On the New Year’s eve, people walk under the lantern hung high overhead, looking at the lantern, implying that we will have good luck for the Chinese New Year.

The orientation of hanging lanterns is something that we should pay particular attention to. A lantern can be hung in the south, west and east, except in the north. According to geomantic omen, the north represents “shui”(water in Chinese), which is on behalf of good luck. If hanging lanterns in the north, the lantern will hinder the good luck, so that hanging lanterns in the north is an inauspicious implication. A pair of red lanterns hung on each side of the due south of the door can have the effect of supplementing Yang.


Spring Festival Couplets

Pasting Spring Festival couplets during the Chinese New Year is one of the traditional cultural customs. Spring Festival couplets are writing black or golden characters on a red paper. Spring Festival couplets are paired phrases, typically of seven Chinese characters each, written on red paper in black or gold ink, and each one pasted on each side of a door frame. They are characterized by tonal harmony, which is one unique art form of the Chinese language.

Spring Festival Couplets,The Top 8 Decorations
Spring Festival Couplets

To welcome the Chinese New Year, the first thing to do is to paste Spring Festival couplets. About the date of pasting Spring Festival couplets, different places in China have a slight difference. In general, the best time to paste Spring Festival couplets is on the last day of the twelfth month of lunar year. And we should tear up the old Spring Festival couplets when pasting the new ones. Tearing up the old Spring Festival couplets means to sweep away the bad luck. And the role of the Spring Festival couplets lies in warding off evil spirits and looking forward to a good year in the coming year. Thus, the time to paste the Spring Festival couplets should be not later than Chinese New Year’s eve.

Since there are the first line and the second line of a couplet, it is necessary to distinguish which one is the first line of a couplet or the second line of a couplet. So how to distinguish them? The last character of the first line of a couplet is a falling-rising tone while the last character of the second line of a couplet is a level tone, which is the most important point. And the first line of a couplet should be pasted on the left of the door frame while the second line of a couplet should be pasted on the right of the door frame. A horizontal scroll of a couplet is directly above the door.


Lucky Character “福”

Lucky Character “福”,The Top 8 Decorations
Lucky Character “福”

Pasting lucky characters is a traditional custom. During the China New Year, every family should paste lucky characters, big or small, on their doors, walls and lintels and other places. The character “福” now means happiness. In the past, it means good fortune. Pasting “福” stickers during the Chinese New Year, whether in the past or at present, has placed people’s yearning for a happy life. It is also a wish for a better future.

The time of pasting “福” stickers should be in the afternoon of the thirtieth day of the twelfth month of the lunar year and before the sunsets. The proper order of pasting the stickers should be from the outside to the inside, which means that we should paste on the door leaves of the gate, then inside the house. It implies that the blessings of a year have to flow in from the outside. “福” stickers should be in different sizes and must be pasted on the door leaves. “福” stickers on the door leaves means ‘welcome blessing and enjoy a life of ease and comfort’. The gate is the entrance and exit of the house so that it should be solemn. “福” character stickers on the cabinets should be pasted upside down, indicating that the blessing will come all the way to the home, rooms and the cabinets.


New Year Painting

Menshen,The Top 8 Decorations

Menshen(door God who guards the doors) picture plays a very important role in the folk art in our country. It began to popularize among the folk in the Song Dynasty. The ancient Menshen picture was officially known as New Year’s picture in the Qing Dynasty. New Year painting is a unique painting style as well as a popular art form of the Chinese people.

Taohuawu in Suzhou, Yangliuqing in Taiwan, Weifang in Shandong and Mianzhu in Sichuan are the four famous producers for folk woodcut New Year painting in China. The color of New Year pictures is often particularly bright, which is the contrast color application of red and green. So it can give people a kind of local flavor of the festival. New Year’s picture among the Han folk has been popular for nearly a thousand years. People often carve the good life into the New Year picture. If you pay more attention to these new year pictures, you will find that there is nothing negative in New Year’s painting.

‘New Year doll’ Paintings,The Top 8 Decorations
‘New Year doll’ Paintings

Replacing old New Year pictures with new New Year pictures mean ringing out the old and ringing in the new. Menshen pictures are posted on the door. In the traditional folk culture, one of the most important things during the Chinese New Year is to post the God of the door. People believe that it is equivalent to hiring a ‘divine security guard’ for their house to drive evil spirits and protect their house from the evil.

Generally speaking, a pair of ‘New Year doll’ paintings should be posted on the doors of the bedrooms. This kind of New Year painting is the common one in Yangliuqing, which means fertility. Inside the house, people could put up a wider range of New Year paintings. People often choose this kind of New Year paintings of God of wealth, such as cornucopia, ‘enjoy both felicity and longevity’ and so on. These New Year paintings show that people yearn to live a rich life.


Decoration of Fish

Decoration of Fish,The Top 8 Decorations
Decoration of Fish

Fish, as a kind of spirit animal, is closely related to our life. In addition to serving as food, there are many ornaments with its model. Fish always means full of luck. ‘鱼’ and ‘余’ are homophones so that it carries the blessing of prosperity.

During the Spring Festival, we can buy a painting of fish and decorations of fish. According to the need of the family, it can be put on the table, TV stand or hung on the wall.


Chinese Knot

Chinese Knot,The Top 8 Decorations
Chinese Knot

Chinese knot is a unique hand-woven handcraft in China. It was originally a sewing knot in the Paleolithic age, which was later extended to the Ceremonial record of the Han Dynasty, and then evolved into today’s decorative craft. Chinese knot has many different shapes, such as flower, bird, dragon, fish and shoe as well as a variety of knot types, including double money knot, button knot, Pipa knot, cross knot and lucky knot. Chinese knot represents unity, happiness and safety. A red Chinese knot contains infinite expectations. Chinese knots, with the beauty of shape and color, are famous for their shape and meaning, showing the good wish of people in pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. It is a necessary auspicious decoration for every family in the Chinese New Year. Large-sized Chinese knots with patterns of golden pig, carp treasured vase and so on are suited to hang in the places with more white space, such as sitting room and hallway. It can be hung in different places, such as a door, sitting room, window, and other places. It can bring the family happiness and good luck.


Red Pepper,The Top 8 Decorations
Red Pepper

Red Pepper

Hanging red peppers is a local custom leftover from ancient times. In general, people in the north prefer to hang red peppers, especially people who like eating red peppers. Red pepper gives people a happy and lively feeling. The red peppers are usually hung to symbolize a prosperous life and the hope of driving out evil spirits and disasters. People always choose more on both sides of the door to hang red peppers. Hanging on both sides of the door frame means that a prosperous life would come into the home. Both, real or artificial red peppers, are suitable.


Paper-cut for Window Decoration

Paper-cut,The Top 8 Decorations

Paper-cut for window decoration is paper-cuts pasted on window paper or on the glass of the window. In the past, no matter in the north or in the south, paper-cut for window decoration was pasted during the Chinese New Year. Now, some areas in the south paste paper-cut for window decoration only when people are getting married. But in the north, paper-cut for window decoration is still popular. Paper-cut for window decoration has a history of thousands of years.

In the performance of content, they are close to life and to reflect reality. In order to avoid any impact on interior lighting, paper-cut for window decoration is largely overt cuts to get more hollow-cut areas. This custom has a long history which not only brings festivity to the Spring Festival, but is also a symbol for people to express their wishes for welcoming the new year.

Other Decorations,How do Chinese People Decorate for Chinese New Year
Other Decorations

Question & Answer
0 Question
Empty Question
More questions & answers
Ask a question

Items with * are required fields

Can’t find what you’re looking for?
China Travel, Best Guide and Tips from Travel Exper