Life in China: A Picture a Day 2016, January 17 - What westerners refer to as “Chinese New Year” is literally translated as “Spring Festival.” It is the most important holiday in China. Preparations begin weeks before, and the actual holiday includes the first 15 days of the lunar new year.
Spring Festival couplets, called chunlian , are very popular decorations, with the origin going back over a thousand years. A couplet is a very precisely written form of Chinese poetry which has two lines. These are posted vertically on either side of the doorway and a scroll with a more general message is often hung across the top of the doorway. They are typically written with black ink on red paper, but many today are also written in gold. Nowadays, you can buy all kinds of mass produced couplets, but I have also seen them being custom made.
I gave Leah the job of choosing our Spring Festival Couplets. Here is the best she can translate them, if anyone can give a more accurate translation, please do!
Scroll at top: Peace wherever you go
First Line (on right): Smooth sailing whole family happy together
Second Line (on left): May all your hopes be fulfilled full spring