How To Bring Red Into Your Home For The Lunar New Year

While no one knows exactly when Lunar New Year was first celebrated, most will be able to explain how red became the most important color associated with the event in the Chinese lunar calendar. It all has to do with a monster. 

Legend has it that the new year was once a time of terror thanks to the presence of a monster named "Nian," who would go on a rampage during the new year by tearing up fields, and destroying crops, per Nations Online. But while the monster was fearsome, Nian (the Chinese word for "Year") was actually afraid of three things: Noise, lights, and the color red. Once the villagers figured that out, all three were used in the form of firecrackers and red clothing to drive the beast away for good, per Britannica

Nian may no longer be part of the Lunar New Year landscape. However, the tricks that were used to drive the monster away are still very much at play during the Lunar New Year when firecrackers are set off in many Chinese communities, and the color red is widely used as a way to attract blessings for the coming year.

Red decor in the Year of the Rabbit

Even as red has always been the color of the Lunar New Year and the color of good luck and prosperity, it is especially important in the Year of the Rabbit. As Yahoo! News points out, red is also the rabbit's lucky color, so expect to see the homes celebrating this occasion to have their interiors decked out in the spirit of the holidays, too.

Households that celebrate the Lunar New Year are likely to use red accents and decorations in order to invite good feng shui and keep bad luck at bay, and there are a few easy ways to do this. China Highlights says getting festive red paper lanterns to hang in front of your door is one easy way to ensure bad luck doesn't have a way of making it in. Those looking to wish all who enter well can also hang up lines of Chinese poetry written on red paper on either side of their doors. And if the couplets might seem a bit much, a fun way to introduce more red into your home is to red hang paper cutouts in your windows. China Highlights says these cutouts will usually have a character or a symbol of a blessing; for instance, a peach will signify longevity, a pine tree symbolizes youth, and a peony is a wish for wealth.

Red flowers or plants with red accents can liven up a home too

If you feel hanging up bright red decorations might be a bit too much, you can dial it down but still keep the red theme going by turning to the plants and flowers that traditionally bring luck and well wishes during the Lunar New Year season. After all, the Lunar New Year is also known as the Spring Festival, per China Culture, which would make it the perfect time to invite red into your home by using fresh flowers and plants.

The lucky bamboo is an auspicious plant to have at home during the festive season, and it usually comes decorated with strands of red ribbon, which powers up its ability to bring luck, money, and success, per Nations Online.

And if you enjoy fresh flowers, bring red into your home by displaying red blossoms. Women's Weekly recommends red peonies, red boat orchids, heart-shaped red flamingo lilies, as well as red adeniums, whose name in Chinese — fu gui hua — translates to "wealth plant" in Chinese.

And if you're somewhere where vibrant red blossoms aren't an option, make your own money tree by tying lucky red packets to a plant or to branches of silver willow or peach blossom, per Thrillist.