Decorating for Chinese New Year can seem like a daunting task. You see red everywhere, but you don’t know what everything means! Where does this go? And what’s that furry looking plant. Well, don’t fret as we’re here to walk you through the essential decorations you’ll need this Chinese New Year.


1. Lanterns

Lanterns are probably the quintessential Chinese New Year decorations pieces. Usually, small and medium lanterns are hung around the perimeter of the front lawn, while two large lanterns are hung right outside your front door. Chinese New Year lanterns are usually bright red in colour and they’re suppose to guide good luck into the home.

red Chinese lanterns
Image credit: Pixabay

2. ‘Fook’ or the Good Luck character

The Chinese ideogram for good luck  is ‘Fu’ in Mandarin or ‘Fook’ in Cantonese. It’s another common decorative element you’ll find in Chinese homes. They are hung from plum blossom branches or pasted onto walls. It’s a common practice to put these characters upside down so that the luck will pour out and fill the home.

'Fook' good luck Chinese character decoration
Image credit: IQRemix @ Wikimedia Commons

3. Kumquat Trees

Kumquat or Mandarin Oranges are said to resemble the color of gold. They’re often given as gifts when visiting relatives during this season. Kumquat trees are also quite common as decorations and they’re usually placed near the entrance. Many people hang Ang Bao packets on these trees as and added piece of luck.

Image credit: Baden de @ Wikimedia Commons

4. Plum Blossoms

Plum blossoms are a sign of spring and are therefore placed in homes during Chinese New Year to signify a fresh start. Since plum blossoms are not native to Malaysia, many people here settle for the artificial version. The branches of the Plum Blossoms are decorated with carefully folded Ang Boa packets and other small decorative items, much like a Christmas tree.

Cherry Blossom Tree Cherry Plum Blossom Plum
Image credit: MaxPixel

Read More: Chinese New Year Ang Pow Rates 2018…and Tips to Budgeting!

5. Red Paper Cutouts

These intricately cut papers often bear auspicious words and they’re put up on walls that are usually white. The red contrasts beautifully with the white and really brings out the designs of the cut paper. Nowadays, they’re massed produced but in the past, people used to cut their own designs. Apart from auspicious characters, these paper cutouts sometimes feature flowers and the zodiac animal for the year.

Image credit: Project Manhattan @ Wikimedia Commons

6.  Pussy Willow

Also known as Catkins, this plant is also another auspicious one to add to your home this festive season. The furry buds of the branches resemble tiny kittens. When the buds come out of their coverings, it’s a sign that spring is in the air. This plant is pretty sensitive so do display it in a shaded area.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

7. Chinese Couplets

Long red paper scrolls with Chinese couplets are often hung outside the front entrance. These couplets often contain good wishes for a prosperous new year, or words that relate to spring and wealth. These couplets are often the perfect way for people to show off their calligraphy skills.

Image credit: Sarah White @ Unsplash

8. Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers are another common decoration.  They’re another symbol of spring and the flowers chosen are usually an assortment of bright colours like yellow, pink and red. Try to avoid white flowers as white is the color of mourning.

Image credit: Alisa Anton@Unsplash

9. Red Packets

Empty Ang Pao packets are often folded into various shapes, or used just as they are around the house. They’re often displayed together with Mandarin oranges or hung from branches. Some people take this opportunity to display their Ang Pao packet collection, with as many pretty designs as possible.

Ang pao packet and oranges
Image credit: Project Manhattan @ Wikimedia Commons

10. Pineapples

Pineapples can be incorporated into your Chinese New Year decorations in several ways. You can have images of pineapples on the walls, hang pineapple shaped lanterns, have golden pineapple figures or even place real pineapples on a side table. The Hokkien and Cantonese words for pineapples sound like ‘prosperity arrives’ so they’re considered auspicious fruits.

Pineapple at party
Image credit: Pineapple Supply Co. @ Unsplash

Here are our favourite Chinese New Year Decorations and definitely a must have:

LanternsGuide good luck into the home
Red Paper CutoutsAuspicious characters for the home
Pussy WillowSign that spring is in the air
Chinese CoupletsWishes for a prosperous new year

Get your Chinese New Year decorations early this year by shopping online. No fuss, no crowds and no need for endless rounds at the parking lot. Search for some home decor for cashback on your new year decorations.

Read More: Tips on How to Stay Healthy and Not Fall Sick This Chinese New Year