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Home History and Culture Chinese New Year's Couplet (春联)
Chinese New Year's Couplet (春联)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture



Chun lian is a special type of Duilian, or couplet. It is used only during the Chinese New Year as part of its celebration. While duilian is permanent, chunlian is a temporary decoration to be placed on the entrance of the house, somewhat akin to Halloween and Christmas decorations.

Duilian comprises of a couplet written on vertical strips of red paper in the best calligraphic style one can muster. In addition, a third horizontal piece may be posted across and on top the door.

Chun lian is written on red paper with ink. Red is a very lucky color for the Chinese, it frightens off the Chinese New Year monster 'Nian' who arrives at this time of year and destroys crops and homes. "Nian" has three weaknesses: it was frightened by noise, sunshine, and the color red. So villagers built fires, set off firecrackers, and painted the doors to their houses red and placed red couplets beside the doors. Red to the Chinese also represents good fortune, fame and riches.

These couplets can be hung outside beside the main door and also inside in important rooms like the kitchen, bedroom and lounge. They are also hung either side of the cooker or hob. They are normally hung for two months after the Chinese New Year although many people leave them all year round for continued good luck.

Hanging Instructions:
Cut the couplets in half from top to bottom and place either side of your main doors, you should also place on either side of your cooker or hob.

If you have access to a laminate machine it would be wise to laminate them or at least wrap them in a clear protective cover, this is more important for outside rather than the ones you hang by the cooker.

These are traditionally left on the door or cooker area for two months after Chinese New Year although many families leave them all year round for continued good luck but they must be renewed each year so save this document for every year and pass onto as many friends and families as you can as it is considered very auspicious to receive a couplet especially without charge.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 13:45

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