This article first appeared in theSun Buzz CNY x Valentine’s Day edition HERE
The Lunar New Year celebrations this year may be a little quieter. However, we can still embrace the festivities by decorating the home even just a little. With these minimalistic and simple decor ideas, preparing for the festive week will be fun, laidback and enjoyable.
Lucky Wishes on the door
Start the celebrations on a festive note with lucky wishes on the door. The IKEA SOLGLIMTAR is made out of thick, durable paper and it’s easy to put up with double-sided tape that’s included. When translated, the lucky decor wishes everyone who comes in good health, wealth and prosperity.
Good Fortune stickers
For a minimalistic approach, putting up these Good Fortune (Fuk) stickers add to the festive atmosphere without much fuss. Check out the Good Fortune stickers from MR DIY with its creative designs featuring cute Oxes.
If putting up the Good Fortune stickers feels a little plain, these flower balls with Good Fortune written all over it might do the trick to liven up the house. The flower balls can be a lantern substitute too and look great both indoors and outdoors.
Lanterns are another staple Chinese New Year decor and it can be either bought or made together with the children. Families with young children can easily turn lantern-making into a family art project to keep children occupied. All you need are the basic arts and crafts supplies such as coloured paper, scissors, threads and some glue.
Even plants aren’t spared from being decorated during this festive season. The lucky bamboo plant is another popular decor and can also double as a gift. These small bamboo plants are arranged neatly in a shallow pot and some variants are twisted into beautiful shapes.
Pussy willow tree
One other popular plant in Chinese households during the CNY celebration is the pussy willow tree. The pussy willow tree is easily recognizable due to its white-grey furry buds which are sometimes dyed red, orange, yellow or fuchsia. The tree symbolizes growth and the coming of prosperity in Chinese culture.
Other than the pussy willow tree, there are other lucky plants according to the Chinese culture too. Plants such as the jade plant, money plant, Dancing Ladies orchids, Kalanchoes, tangerine or kumquat trees bring in much festive joy, luck and abundance into the home.
The pussy willow tree is usually decorated with adorable CNY ornaments. If families ever need more ideas to keep children occupied, they can have the children make their own CNY ornaments to hang it on the tree.
Otherwise, store-bought ornaments are good too with designs such as the ox, lucky cat, gold ingot and the lion dance head to choose from.
Ang pau fish
Making ang pau fishes is another favourite activity among young children. This activity is also an opportunity to reuse or finish up old ang pau packets for decorative purposes.
Hanging up ang pau fishes as ornaments symbolizes a play on the words ‘Nian nian you yu’ (年年有余) which means wishing everyone else an abundance and surplus every year.
Another festive DIY project to do is to make DIY firecrackers (just for decorative purposes). This can be easily made using painted toilet or kitchen rolls, or just rolled up red colour papers. The DIY firecrackers can be hung at the entrance to frame the Lucky Wishes or hung inside to frame the Good Fortune sticker.