Decorating the door

12 Feb
Our door - ready to welcome the new year!

Our door – ready to welcome the new year!

One of the traditions for the new year in China is decorating the door with words of good luck and fortune for the upcoming year.  The piece of paper on the sides are called “chun lian” (春联) which roughly translates into “communication with the spring” and the piece on the top is “he nian men tou” (贺年门头)which is kind of like “connecting the years at the top of the door.”

In traditional times you would paste it on the outside door and then it would slowly over the course of the year come off because it was exposed to the weather.  Since we live in an apartment I expect that we will need to remove it ourselves sometime in the summer when it is obvious that the beginning of the year is over.

The sayings that are written on each piece have special meaning and I have to confess that they are beyond my ability for Chinese translation.  This year that was one of Li’s jobs to choose the saying that will lead us into the new year.  I do know that the piece on top of the door says “万事如意“ which means literally 10,000 good things.  That seems like a good New Year’s wish.

One additional decoration that I have especially noticed this year was lots of blossoms in the advertisements.  Below was a beautiful display in the building across the street from my office.  It looked like a fairy land between two very expensive name brand stores.  I like this type of decoration as it reminds me that spring is coming soon (despite the frigid temperatures we have had recently).

New year decorations of a more formal variety in a shopping mall

New year decorations of a more formal variety in a shopping mall

I wonder if I could start a new Chinese tradition by decorating a door with blossoms?

More snake decorations are also showing up since I made my post on Sunday.  The doors of my apartment building now have a pair of cute snakes in traditional Chinese garb welcoming all visitors.

What type of holiday decorations do you enjoy the most?  If you had to post a message on the outside of your door welcoming the new year, what message makes the most sense to you?

3 Responses to “Decorating the door”

  1. Naomi Baltuck February 12, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    So pretty! What a nice tradition.

    • gkm2011 February 12, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      I agree, letting and welcoming new year, new ideas, new possibilities!


  1. Happy Year of the Horse! | 中国 Jumble - January 30, 2014

    […] have already decorated the door and will be celebrating with a large new year’s eve dinner and then watching the annual […]

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