When Seeing Red Means Happiness

Visit any Chinese community around the world and you will soon notice the abundance of the color red in the designs, decorations, ornaments, clothing, lanterns, architecture, etc. Long before there was “Red China” in the sense of communist China, red was the dominant color in China for any celebration, festive occasion, wedding, birthdays and traditional holidays, congratulations, etc.

Among the five elements red symbolizes fire, expressed in energy, summer, sun, heat and south. Those are important things for an agrarian society. Other qualities associated with red are good luck, celebration, happiness, joy, vitality, long life, recognition, propriety, creativity and joy.

If you are invited to a wedding or birthday or Chinese New Year celebration, red is aways a good choice. If you bring a present wrap it in red.

The color that is most often combined with red is gold, the symbol of wealth and prosperity. The red/gold combo is especially popular at Chinese New Year, together the two colors embody everything one could wish and hope for the coming year.


Carved gourds with red tassels


A paper cut with an intricate Chinese character for good luck and prosperity


Festive red lanterns create a bright and cheery atmosphere


A store that specializes in New Year’s decorations


Calamondin mini oranges decorated with red and gold ribbons


A calligrapher writes New Year’s couplets on red paper

This entry was posted in customs, folklore, Taiwan, tradition and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to When Seeing Red Means Happiness

  1. Pingback: Jubilant (Tibetan Monks) | What's (in) the picture?

  2. ybawany says:

    The paper cut is insane; I’m a paper artist myself and can imagine how much effort would have gone into that piece. What an interesting take on this week’s theme; it makes me want to see more of your work.

    Following you now. Have a great day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great to know about Red in Design !

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s