Inviting luck into your home
As the Year of the Metal Ox approaches, preparations to celebrate the Chinese New Year have also begun.
While this year’s festivities will be markedly different due to the pandemic, one can still safely observe some of the old familiar traditions and customs to usher in the Ox Year. And what better way to start the new year than to put up ornaments to usher in luck and prosperity?
Metal Ox decorations
Welcome the Chinese New Year by putting a metal ox figurine to usher in good fortune. Tradition has it that the zodiac signs would serve as mascots for the Chinese New Year celebration and the year ahead. This year’s zodiac sign is the ox, based on a 12-year cycle of the Chinese calendar which has an assigned animal and element per year.
Some people wear accessories with their own zodiac signs to avoid bad luck. This can also be done in spaces. Since metal is an element that attracts optimal energy, having a metal ox figure at home will help with productivity and clarity to manifest goals. Feng shui masters recommend choosing the colors gold and gray.
A traditional decor, a Chinese knot has a long history as a handicraft. It was originally used as a means to record and send messages before people started to write and was later used as a decor with symbolic meanings. In modern times, it is usually tied and woven from a single length of rope to form varying shapes and meanings. While it comes in different colors, it is customarily made in red to symbolize good fortune.
Chinese knots, which can be used to bring safety or auspiciousness, are hung from ceilings or walls. They are one of the most common ornaments used for celebrations not just because of its symbolic meaning, but also for its beautiful design.
Chinese lanterns nowadays are used as adornment especially during festivals. They are common fixtures both in public places and homes during the Chinese New Year and are usually hung in the windows and doors to bring good luck. Traditionally, they were used as a light source and even became a status symbol.
Often made with bamboo, rattan, wire, paper and silk, they are structurally simple but can be embellished with paper cuttings, painting, Chinese calligraphy and even embroidery. Red lanterns are an accessible and distinctly festive decoration even for modern homes.
With the rise of gardening and houseplants in this day and age, blooming plants may be a modern new year ornament that can bring not just fortune but also beauty to homes. Blooming flowers symbolize rebirth so they are a common house ornament during the Lunar New Year, which also marks the beginning of spring.
Flowers as decoration are especially common in Hong Kong and Macau. Branches of plum blossoms, orchids and peach blossoms are among the most popular blooming plants that bring prosperity and luck, but there are still a variety of plants to choose from, each with their own specific symbolism.
Sources: Travelchinaguide.com, Thechinesezodiac.org, Chinahighlights.com, Japantimes.co.jp, Photos from Pexels.com and Wikipedia
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