Red lanterns

29th january 2012 Chinese new year. Chinatown, London.

"The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend. A symbol of good fortune and sign of intense power, the Oriental Dragon is regarded as a divine beast - the reverse of the malicious monster that Westerners felt necessary to find and slay. In Eastern philosophy, the Dragon is said to be a deliverer of good fortune and a master of authority. The Year of the Dragon will be marked by excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity".

I love the fact that The Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year because it is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. And I love the tons of colours on the street. As you can see red was everywhere, as the emblem of joy,  virtue, truth and sincerity. While wondering around the magic streets I found this sign hanging on a window: 

DO’s & DON'Ts on NEW YEAR’s DAY:

- Greet others with "Gung Hey Fat Choy" which means "Wishing You Prosperity and Wealth".

- Give two lee see’s to each child. Because happiness comes in two’s, do not just give one. This is your way of passing good luck to the next generation. Business owners also give lee see’s to employees and associates.

- Wear brand new clothes - preferably in red. Children should wear new clothes and new shoes.

- Don’t wash your hair.

- Don’t sweep the floor.

- Don’t greet people who are in mourning.

- Don’t drop your chopsticks.

- Don’t say the number ‘four’ (Chinese homonym for death) or mention death.

- Don’t borrow or lend money.

...and, of course, I ended up buying a beautiful red lantern to light up my bedroom. 

Happy Chinese New Year.


  1. so beautiful! enjoyed to read all the facts about dos and don'ts on the chinese version of the new year's day!

  2. Brilliant pics, Sara, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  3. Beautiful!

    I went to Chinese New Year too, only in Amsterdam. It wasn't as traditional as I expected, they mixed it up with a food festival, so pretty much everyone was waiting in line to get a hot meal. It was good though;)

  4. Happy Chinese new year!
    amazing pictures.