How NOT To Decorate Your House This Chinese New Year

Just like Christmas, Chinese New Year calls for another round of home decorating. Yet unlike Christmas, there are some restrictions on the items and colours that you can use to style your home during the spring season.

It’s true that some of these taboos are mere superstitions. However, some of them may be attributed to common sense and safety precautions. Here are the list of things that you shouldn’t do when preparing your house for Chinese New Year:

Leave sharp objects out in the open

sharp knives
Photo credit:

This is a big no-no. Traditional Chinese belief says that leaving knives and scissors out in the open will ‘cut’ the family’s wealth away. It could also result in accidents involving loss of blood, which is thought to be inauspicious during the festival.

Store your knives and scissors in a drawer. It’s a logical thing to do since none of us want anyone getting hurt on this happy occasion.

Use chrysanthemum flowers for decorations

Photo credit: Brenda's Wedding Blog
Photo credit: Brenda’s Wedding Blog

Your Chinese grandparents will probably shriek if they see white chrysanthemum flowers in the house during Chinese New Year. Chrysanthemum and white-coloured flowers are only used during funerals. They’re synonymous with mourning, which can be very unlucky to have in a house during any festive occasions.

If you really want to include flowers as part of the home decor, use peonies and orchids instead. These are flowers that symbolise fertility and beauty in Chinese culture. Be sure to choose the red or pink ones!

Hanging black curtains

Photo credit:
Photo credit:

In fact, you should just lock away anything that is black for the next 15 days of Chinese New Year. Like white, black is a colour reserved for funerals and is viewed as an extremely unlucky shade. Go for brighter colours. It is the spring season after all!

Putting mirrors in the hallway

Photo credit: Babble
Photo credit: Babble

Mirrors are popular home decor items. They make your otherwise narrow space look more spacious. It also makes the room look brighter too. However, Chinese culture believes that mirrors can attract unwanted paranormal visitors to your home.

Best to keep those mirrors covered and stored.

Square or rectangular dining table

Photo credit: Dino Tonn
Photo credit: Dino Tonn

It’s not really a taboo to have square or rectangular dining tables. The preferred table shape for Chinese New Year feasts, especially the reunion dinner which takes place on the Eve, is a round one. This is because the Chinese word for ’round’ also means ‘reunion’ and ‘togetherness’. Coupled with the fact that round tables have no sharp corners, which is also a Chinese taboo for the spring season, thus it’s much better to have round tables for this time of the year.

Putting chairs and sofas near the door

Photo credit: Wife in Progress Blog
Photo credit: Wife in Progress Blog

You’re expecting many guests this Chinese New Year, so you bought a few more stools and bean bags to accommodate the crowd. You even bought a new sofa set with more chairs for this. Chinese tradition says you must not arrange them to be too near the entrance of your home.

It is believed that chairs placed near to, or right in front of, the main door will prevent luck and prosperity from ‘entering’ the home. The chairs and sofas placed too near it are obstacles to the ‘flow’ of wealth that comes during Chinese New Year.

So, if you want the money, move those chairs slightly further away from the main entrance.

Now that you know what not to use for Chinese New Year decorations, let your creativity run free and bring the spring season festive mood into the house! Should you need ideas and help with any of the decor, just pick the service required and complete the form on Kaodim. We’ll send you some free quotations from our interior designers and home renovators and you can pick the one that best suits your budget.

written by Esther Chung