Monday, February 15, 2010

happy crouching tiger

"Family" box full of candies and sweets

I can't even remember the last time I celebrated Chinese New Year at home, so since this year my family's here for the big festival we decided to spend more time and effort to decorate our house and to do all the traditional New Year's activities to welcome the Year of Tiger.
So here's the usual run down:
- decorate your house/ office with red "posters" that read different Chinese proverbs with auspicious meanings. The more you put up the better.
- buy some orchids or water lilies or plum blossoms and a tangerine tree from the seasonal flower market
- wear red, lots of red. Red symbolizes good fortune and prosperity in Chinese culture, so it's customary to wear red for the new year
- on the first day, visit relatives' homes and say words of blessings to each other and receive red pockets (which are red envelopes filled with money) from elders who are married
- eat candies and sweets placed in a "family" box (which is usually a lacquered lazy susan box) and other traditional foods

Chinese proverb posters

There are actually a lot more celebratory activities, but above is the least people usually do in order to welcome a year filled with good fortune, good health, and good wealth. Who doesn't want a prosperous year ahead? It's the reason why red is such an omnipresent element in this occasion. Though we are often surrounded by pretty red things in our daily lives, the rouge level is nothing compared to all the red seen during Chinese New Year.

"Rouge" as interpreted by Imke Klee (image via Little Thing Magazine)

So, wear some crimson up your sleeve to welcome a prosperous year of Tiger.

*wearing red checkered blouse by Hound & Friends, furry vest, shorts bought in Japan, reworked vintage headband

No comments: