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Quick and easy ways to decorate in time for CNY



Where did the time go? Everyone was just celebrating Christmas and, suddenly, the year ended and then it was the New Year. And just around the corner, before you can catch your breath, is Chinese New Year. Quick, start decorating! Here are 8 ways you can do so quickly.


Paper Cutting Arts 窗花

Time to get cutting – pull out the papers and scissors! Literally translated to “window flowers ', these super duper easy to make decorations symbolise a whole bunch of things, depending on what you cut. Peaches for longevity, pomegranates for fertility, mandarin duck for love, pine tree for youth, and peony for honour and wealth. Making these yourself personalised the decoration.



Table Setting

Arrange that table quickly! If you’ve ever visited a friend for CNY, you’ll know snacks on the table are THE thing. But if you really want to be flashy, don’t just dump the goodies there – arrange them! The time and effort will not go unnoticed. At least, until everyone starts digging in. But it’s the effort that counts.


Door Couplets 春联

Our ancestors used to make these out of pine trees. But you don’t have time, just use paper! Paper is made from trees, so they kinda count? Regardless, couplets are made of large red papers that have Chinese calligraphy written onto them – they typically wish blessings upon guests who enter your home. If you’re well versed in Chinese poetry, you could make your own.

 


Fú-rtune 福

These are a little like couplets but are specifically diamond-shaped with one word on it – 福 (fú). It means fortune and you can paste or hang it anywhere. Just remember to hang it UPSIDE DOWN. “But why?!” you ask? Because upside-down in Chinese is 倒 (dào) is homophonous with 到 (also dào), which is “to arrive”. Hence, “luck will arrive”. Super easy to make, you can practically have a hundred of these in a jiffy plastered all over the house.

 


Lanterns 灯笼

What’s CNY without lanterns? Buy them or get your kid (or neighbour’s kids) to make them! They can come in all sizes. Whatever it is, hang them around your front door – their bright red illumination is said to guide good luck into your home. Or at the very least, show your friends where your house is!


Mandarin Oranges 金桔

Chinese love a good pun and Mandarin oranges are no different – 金 (jīn) literally means gold and 桔 (jú) respectively sounds like good luck 吉 (jí). More importantly, you can quickly get crates of them to decorate your home – stick them onto any flat surface you can find!  They’ll not only add pops of colour to your home but they’ll also fill it with their sweet aroma too. 



Blooming Flowers

This side of the world, we often call it Chinese New Year, but it really is called the Spring Festival – the mark of a new seasonal cycle. Which is why, on top of all the other decorations, blooming flowers are symbolic of this time. Popular plants to bring into the home are plum blossoms, orchids, peonies, and peach blossoms. To the florist!


Conclusion

So, what are you waiting for? Stop reading and get decorating!



Posted on 6 January 2023


Kenny Tan,

SIXiDES Editorial Team

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