Interest | Art & Culture

Why is Chinese New Year Always Associated with Red?

Selasa, 01 Feb 2022 16:01 WIB
Why is Chinese New Year Always Associated with Red?
Foto: Henry & Co
Jakarta -

Known as the biggest celebration in the Chinese community, Lunar New Year is a fifteen-day festival celebrated annually depending on the sighting of the moon. This year, the celebration begins on February 1st and will culminate with the lantern festival that falls on February 15th. Traditions in Chinese New Year include family gatherings, wearing red or colorful clothing, and giving out hóngbāo (envelopes filled with "lucky money" or "money to anchor the years"). From hóngbāo envelopes to the dress code-when talking about Chinese New Year, the color red always follows through.

The Tradition of Wearing Red

In Chinese culture, red corresponds with fire, which symbolizes luck, joy, vitality, fertility, and happiness. It is logical why red is always used in the ornaments within Chinese New Year celebrations; people want to enter the new year with all the good things planted and represented in the color of red-since it bears a lot of good fortune.

However, there's also a folklore tale in regards to the color red in Chinese New Year. Natives believe that red is not only a color that can boost good fortune, but also it has the power to ward off evil spirits. According to legends, there was a mythical dangerous beast namely 'Nian', which also means 'Year'. Nian would visit villages to villages on the New Year's Eve to kill people and even kids. People of the village would hide from Nian in the bamboo forest. One year, Nian was very hungry, but for some reason when he arrived at the bamboo forest, he immediately ran off once he saw the bamboos.

Upon knowing the sight of Nian being scared of the bamboo, people test out the theory in the next new year; they hung out red clothing in front of one house which results in a terrified Nian. Nian hopped to other villages, only for people to find how Nian is scared off by the cracking sound of burning bamboo. Ever since, people start dressing up in red, hanging up red strolls on their houses, and setting firecrackers to scare off Nian during the new year. Whenever they succeeded, they would visit their family and friends in the village to say congrats, and throw a big dinner in celebration. As time went by, Nian stopped coming out of fear. However, these activities commenced traditions for the Chinese New Year.

In different cultures, colors are understood differently due to their symbolic significance which bears from many generations. Apart from being the main color of Chinese New Year, red is also seen in several celebrations like Chinese weddings. As for now, red remains a popular color in China. So, get yourself drowned and adorn in the festiveness of the red. May you all have blessed days ahead in the year of the Water Tiger!

[Gambas:Audio CXO]



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