Chinese New Year is just next week! When it comes to decorating the house for Chinese New Year, there are a few essential items to have in the house so that it will bring luck to you for the rest of the year. Check out these 8 lucky items and make sure you get them if you’ve missed out any!
#1. Mandarin Oranges
This is mandatory and everyone knows that when you visit another house, it is only polite to bring two mandarin oranges. In exchange, the host will return you two mandarin oranges as well. So why do we place so much emphasis on mandarin oranges? In Cantonese, mandarin oranges are also known as kam, which also means gold!
Other than its auspicious-sounding name, they also symbolize a sweet year ahead as well as longevity. Hence, mandarin oranges can be seen placed in fruit bowls around the living room, whether it’s on the shelves, dining table or coffee table in Singapore.
In the past, people used to hang real firecrackers just outside their doors. People would gather and wait for new year to arrive, setting firecrackers off at midnight. With the ban of explosives in Singapore, we can only see electronic firecrackers that replicate the sound of firecrackers setting off.
Firecrackers were believed to protect one’s house in the past from a mythical creature called Nian. According to the legend, Nian would appear on Chinese New Year’s eve to scare the villagers. To chase Nian away, firecrackers were hung outside their homes so they can set it off when Nian comes. Its exploding sound scared Nian off and it never came back.
By Helanhuaren [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
#3. Upside-down Fu
Fu, which means blessing in Chinese is a common character that is always seen on decorations and also red packets. However, did you know that when you hang any Fu on the wall, you have to turn it upside-down? That is because when it is turned upside-down, the word dao in Chinese sound similar to ‘arrive’. Hence pasting Fu upside-down signifies that blessing has arrived!
By Michael McComb via Flickr
#4. Bamboo plant
The bamboo plant is twisted and twirled most commonly into the number eight, the bamboo plant is believed to bring luck as well as strength into the household. Usually, the bamboo plant can be seen decorated with red ribbons or other ornaments
#5. Pussy Willow
Another common plant that most Chinese household will buy during Chinese New Year is Pussy willow, also known as Catkins. The Chinese term for catkins is called ‘yin liu’, which soulds like ‘money flowing in.’’With its branches and fluffy, furry buds, catkins also signify the coming of Spring, symbolizing growth. Some believed that the more buds a catkins has, the more fortune it will bring hence you can see some aunties being very particular about getting ones with more buds! They like to put it in a corner of the house of beside the sofa in Singapore.
In Cantonese, the term for pineapple is called ‘wong lai’ which sound similar to the coming of fortunes. Besides its name, its yellow body also closely resembles the colour of gold. Other than decorative items in the shape of a pineapple, pineapple tarts is also a must-have during Chinese New Year!
By IQRemix via Flickr
#7. Fish decorations
During Chinese New Year, another common element you will see in the house are decorations in the shape of fish! In Chinese, fish is called ‘yu’ which also sounds like ‘surplus’. Therefore a fish symbolizes that each year your family will have a surplus of food, money as well as other things, never short of anything. Because fish is so symbolic, don’t be surprised at the prizes of some shops and restuarants when you head out to have some fish during Chinese New Year period!