Learn Chinese with Miaomiao learn about Chinese New Year

Red and Gold are the most commonly associated colors for Chinese New Year and carry with them deep cultural and historical significance.


Why do we see so much red during Chinese New Year? Because it is considered as the luckiest, prosperous and joyful colour of them all in Chinese culture!

On Chinese New Year, you will find many red lanterns and firecrackers decorating the festivals. Outside, a few special trees will be turned into “wishing trees,” where adults and kids will hang red papers with their wishes written on them. At home the elderly will give their blessings to the children in the form of red envelopes filled with money. Such a gift is considered to ward off any bad spirits seeking to spoil the kids.

Interesting fact: since red is such a happy colour, you will also find brides and grooms wearing red garments on weddings. That is also why no one in China ever wears red to funerals!


In the sea of red ornaments, clothing and food, you will also spot many gold streaks and accents on Chinese New Year decorations. Gold or yellow is considered the most beautiful color in Chinese culture. It represents freedom and courage, and is associated with the legendary Yellow Emperor – the father of Chinese civilization.

On Chinese New Year, yellow and gold is used to decorate red envelopes with luck-wishing words and phrases. You will also see yellow as an accent colour on lanterns, banners, calendars, costumes, plates and all kinds of other New Year items.

Interesting fact: while red is a colour of earthly desires like wishing for more money and a healthy family, yellow or gold is a colour of the spiritual realm. It represents freedom from worldly desires and is used in Buddhist temples as the main decorative colour. The buddhist monks also don yellow robes.

(Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski.”Red lantern“, Flickr.)


Learn Chinese with Miaomiao learn about Chinese New Year

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