Celebrating Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival. This ancient celebration marks the end of the Winter season and the beginning of Spring. Everything is new and coming back to life, making the start of a prosperous beginning. The Chinese celebrate the New Year in many ways and just like Christmas, we decorate our house with all kinds of things. Read on for my DIY Fai Chun printable.
When is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year in 2018 is on Friday 16th February and this year is the year of the Dog. Chinese New Year is calculated according to the Lunar calendar, therefore dates will vary each year and could fall anything in January or February. Celebrations begin on the New Years eve and lasts until the first full moon of the year, which is 15 days later when people celebrate the Lantern Festival.
2019 – Tuesday 5 February (Year of the Pig)
2020 – Saturday 25 Janaury (Year of the Rat)
2021 – Friday 12 February (Year of the Ox)
2022 – Tuesday 1 February (Year of the Tiger)
2023 – Wednesday 22 January (Year of the Rabbit)
2024 – Saturday 10 February (Year of the Dragon)
What are Fai Chun’s?
Fai Chun’s or Spring Couplets are red pieces of rectangular piece paper with auspicious phrases written on them usually in red or black ink and can range from 2 to 4 words. Red has always represented good luck in Chinese culture and according to legend, is suppose to scare away the monster (Nian) who visits on New Years Eve. Therefore, Fai Chun’s are usually stuck on doors and around the house.
Make your own DIY Fai Chun’s
Get into the Chinese New Year spirit by using my DIY Fai Chun printables. Download it here! Below I show you THREE ways how you can use and decorate them. I have chosen some of the most popular and basic greetings and included some romanised pronounciation in Mandarin as well. So why not try saying them to friends/family this year and wish them a happy new year, prosperity and good health! Don’t worry if you don’t know any Chinese, I have also included some translations on what they mean.
Before you start, do the following first:
Decorate Idea #1
Colour your Fai Chun’s and colour them in with paint. Remember, traditionally the background is red and the words are black or Gold, but there is no stopping you from being creative and experimenting. Why not add some sparkles with glitter. Tip: If you’re painting the paper, the paper may curl up on the sides, so stick down the sides when you’re painting and once it’s dried, put a heavy book on top so the paper has time to flatten properly. You can also increase the thickness of the paper by lining the edges underneath with cello tape or stick onto a piece of cardboard that’s of the same size.
Decorate Idea #2
Give your Fai Chun’s a bit more dimension by cutting out the words and then sticking them on pieces of stacked card or foam. Tip: You do not need to cut all the white paper off in the middle of the words, just colour them in with the same colour as your backgroun foam/paper. Also to keep the composition of the words the same as the printout, you do not need to completely cut out separate strokes of the words.
Decorate Idea #3
Go way out and cut and transfer the words over to alternative materials like felt or foam. I have used felt and sewed the words/symbols down, but you can use fabric glue and it would look just as wonderful! You can even get creative and exchange certain words with symbols, such as:
心 = Heart
吉 = luck (but has the same sound as the second word in “柑桔“, which is the mandarin fruit. Hence why you will find this fruit used as decoration and eaten during the Chinese New Year Period).
I hope you have fun creating these DIY Fai Chun decorations. We wish you a Happy Chinese New Year, may you have a prosperous and healthy year ahead filled with good luck and happiness.
Please share and get creative!
Thank you for reading and until next time…
Love, MsMamaBean x
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