Lunar New Year: Symbols and Significance
Lunar New Year: Symbols and Significance
The Lunar New Year is upon us, which means that for some Malaysians, it's time to spruce up the home and play host to the tide of friends and family coming to visit. First thing's first, a thoroughly cleaning of your home is necessary before you can even consider the nex step. It is traditionally believed that such a spring cleaning will get rid of all the bad luck accumulated throughout the previous year. Of course, being able to show off your immaculately clean home to visitors is an additional perk.
However, what's next once your home is spick and span? Preparing the home for the festive season can be tough. Navigating through the sea of gold and crimson paraphernalia available in shopping malls (while trying to figure out what they mean!) requires a bit of know-how.
Not to worry – we've put together a list of some of the most popular Lunar New Year decorations and their symbolic meanings, to help you usher in good tidings and impress your guests.
Red, Red, Red
Stories about the importance of the colour red to the Lunar New Year are steeped in myth and legend. One such story tells of a beast called Nian (also the name for 'year') which terrorized a village in ancient China at the end of each year. Eventually, the villagers found a way to ward off the beast – by scaring it with loud sounds, bright lights and the colour red.
Today, while we no longer adorn ourselves or our homes in red to ward off mythical creatures, the colour does represent auspiciousness, happiness and good luck. Since red is a rather robust colour, several small touches to your home (such as swapping to red pillow covers or displaying cookies and candy in red trays) should suffice to add to the festive atmosphere.
Chinese New Year is the perfect time to show off floral displays. As the festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring, blooming flowers are an apt symbol for the promise of new beginnings and opportunities. Flowers that are often associated with the New Year are orchids (symbolizing nobility), peonies (peace and prosperity) and narcissus (good luck). Cherry or plum blossoms are also popular choices, just place a few stalks in a vase and wait for the trembling buds to bloom into pink and white.
Whether you opt for an elaborate bouquet or understated elegance, these natural beauties will not just express your excitement for spring, but it’s also scientifically proven to make your home better live in#link.
Mandarin Oranges, Tangerines and Kumquats
Flowers aren’t the only bounty from nature that is associated with spring. Mandarin oranges, tangerines and kumquats tend to be popular fixtures of the festive decorations, as their names in Chinese translate to 'luck' and 'gold'.
The comparison to wealth is underscored all the more by their bright, golden hues. These lovely gems are usually displayed on trays for guests. Alternatively, potted tangerine or kumquat shrubs make beautiful additions to your home decor, indoors or outdoors.
Red lanterns are hung by the door to ward off bad luck, some bearing messages of goodwill and prosperity. At night, with their gentle light and soft red hues, they transform your front porch into something truly magical.
Fai Chun refers to several varieties of red calligraphy banners, one of which is doufang – a diamond shaped banner featuring a single character (usually fu, which means 'fortune'). Place doufang on or over doors.
Long, vertical banners called chunlian (or 'couplets') feature poems about the arrival of spring. Place these in pairs, on either side of your front door.
Protecting Your Home
Now that your home is spick and span and decorated, what's next? Naturally, you'd want to keep your home safe against the unforeseen. Allianz HouseOwner & HouseHolder Insurance and Allianz Home Shield can help you do just that. Choosing the right plan can ensure that your home contents are protected against losses and damages, even in cases of theft, burglary, fires and natural disasters. Additionally, you will be protected from liability in the event that a guest suffers bodily injury in your home.
With Allianz, you can rest assured that you and your home will be protected as you enter the New Year.