For people in Asia, the new year begins on the first day of the lunar new year, typically sometime in late January or early February. Traditions during this time include feasting and "spring cleaning" around the house. If you're wondering whether your neighbors are celebrating the lunar new year, the most obvious signs may be on the front door.
What's On the Door
The most common thing hung on the front door during lunar new year is a "couplet," or a poem-like phrase written in Chinese calligraphy. People typically hang one of these long, red banners on either side of the door. The couplets typically include phrases related to prosperity, good fortune or a bright future. Additionally, you might see pictures placed on the door itself. These often depict the gods of good fortune or the gods of doorways. An elaborate doorway may also be adorned with red lanterns. As you might have guessed, red is an auspicious color in Chinese culture.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.