Chinese New Year is the most celebrated amongst all Chinese festivals and holidays. It lasts for the first fifteen days of the Chinese lunar calendar which began on 4th February 2015. It is called the Spring Festival (in the northern hemispheres) as it falls between the December solstice and the March equinox. The 16th February officially marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year and welcomes the celestial Wood Goat (Wei).
Color plays an important role in Chinese culture. In the weeks during the festival we are encouraged to wear, eat and decorate our homes with various colors that are considered auspicious 吉利. The Chinese character combination for the word for color is 顏色 (yánsè).
Red is seen everywhere during Chinese New Year and other important holidays and family gatherings. A red envelope or Lai See 逗利是 is a monetary gift which is given to relatives and co-workers during the holiday. The red color of the packet symbolizes good luck. Red is strictly forbidden at funerals as it is a traditionally symbolic color of happiness. In modern China, red remains a very popular color and is affiliated with and used by the Communist government. It is a traditional bridal colour, it represents expansion, dynamism, enthusiasm, good luck, celebration, happiness, joy, vitality, and long life.
In Feng Shui we believe that the cosmos mirrors the Five Elements and that each has an associated colour, form, direction, emotion and taste. Five Element thory suggests that red is associated with the element Fire; Direction: South; Season: Summer; Condition: heat; Energy: expansive; Phase: full Yang; Development: blooming; Planet: Mars; Emotion: joy; Body : heart and small intestines ; Form; triangle ; Number: 9; Trigram Bagua: Li ; Action: sight; Sense: touch; Sound: laughing; Smell: scorched; Taste: bitter; Food Animal: winged, especially poultry; Heavenly creature: Vermilion Bird, (Red) pheasant; Fruit: apricot; Grain: beans.
Clothing mainly featuring the colour red is commonly worn throughout the Chinese New Year because it is believed that red will scare away evil spirits and bad fortune. In addition, people typically wear new clothes from head to toe to symbolize a new beginning. I had just the excuse that I needed to purchase a few additions for my wardrobe. With a planned stylistic reference to red for the forthcoming week, I’m pretty sure I should be warding off negative qi and welcoming good vibes only!