Chinese New Year Crafts
There are thousands of different types of New Year crafts in different parts of China. The most popular items include:
Upside Down Fu
The most popular of the Chinese New Year crafts would be the upside down character of "Fu". "Fu" in Chinese means luck, happiness, and prosperity. When it is upside down, it means "coming". This craft means that luck, happiness, and prosperity is immediately in our future. Usually the "Fu" is written on a diamond shaped paper with a red background. People normally post the "Fu" on their front doors or on living room walls.
This is also called antithetical couplet. It is a pair of lines of poetry, usually hand written on red paper and pasted on the front door. The two lines correspond in their metrical length and some properties of each character, such as meaning and tone. The ideal for a duilian is to have few words but deep meaning. For this reason, they use one character per word, as in Classical Chinese.
The type of lantern used in Chinese New Year is usually decorated with a red paper shell. Some lanterns have candles inside for illumination. Most are just made of red paper for decoration purposes only. During Chinese New Year celebrations, the lantern is usually hung on the door front or inside the house. In some parts of China, the lantern is a must for the Yuan Xiao festival (15th of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar).
Year Paint is a big piece of a hand drawn painting. Usually, the size is at least 3 by 3 feet. Normally, the Year Paint is hung in the most prominent place of the living room. The most popular subjects include mountains, tigers, long living gods, children, etc.
Papercutting is an art form that involves cutting (usually red) paper. The most popular subjects are animals, humans, flowers, or the character of "Xi", which means happiness. During Chinese New Year, most papercutting pieces are pasted on windows and some are placed on the wall and front door.
A door god is a Chinese decoration placed on each side of an entry to a temple, home, business, etc., as it is believed to keep evil from entering.