How to Decorate Your Home to Celebrate Chinese New Year?


It's that time of year again and Spring Festival is just around the corner, this year celebrated from January 24th to 30th. The Christmas decorations have been taken down and removed from the shelves in the shops, and have been replaced with the iconic red lanterns, Chinese knots, couplets and decorations of one of the biggest holidays in the Chinese calendar.

But what does it all mean? And if, as a foreigner, you want to embrace the spirit of China as your home - what do you need to know and where can you buy everything you need for this Year of the Rat?


春联chūn lián / 对联duì lián

These are long red strips detailed with Chinese characters in black ink, normally put up either side of the door to express good fortunes for the year ahead. You will very likely see these all over people's houses around Spring Festival. Couplets originated from the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) and were made popular in the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). Just make sure to put them the right way up!



红灯笼hóng dēng long

This is a very typical decoration and is a symbol of Chinese culture all over the world, which means family, prosperity and happiness for Chinese people. You'll see them hung up all over the city, in public places like shopping malls and restaurants, as well as in people's homes. Tradition says that hanging a red lantern in front of your door represents hope for the year ahead - so buy as many as you can!

Chinese Knots

中国结zhōng guó jié

These beautiful decorations are a traditional Chinese handicraft and are seen all over China around spring festival time. There are many different shapes and styles of knots, with various meanings.

Paper cuttings

剪纸jiǎn zhǐ

This is another traditional handicraft in China and a skill to cut paper with scissors or a knife, which are then pasted onto windows or walls to represent good wishes for the future. Styles include images from the Chinese zodiac and some lucky characters symbolising luck, happiness, wealth and longevity.

So now that you understand more about these traditional decorations which you'll see all around Chongqing, where can you get some for yourself?

📍 The New Chongqing building at Xishizi

If you find yourself in central Chongqing, this is a wonderland of decorations to find everything you need - and more!! - to decorate your home. You'll find soft toys and decorations a-plenty so go here if you're looking for a real shopping experience!

Take me there

📍 Any big supermarket

The likes of Walmart, New Century Department Store, Olé, Vanguard, Metro etc will all have big sections at the front of the store dedicated to the Spring Festival. So you can pick up some couplets whilst you do your weekly shop.

📍 Taobao

Of course you can buy anything online these days and have it delivered right to your door! Typing in English is possible but often the items are more expensive than if you type in Chinese. If you'd like to buy online, you can type 春节装饰 (chun jie zhuang shi) to find a package including everything you'll need to dress up your house appropiately for this holiday.

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