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Why Do Chinoys Wear Red During Celebrations

There are several enjoyable customs associated with the Chinese New Year celebration. Aside from the traditional traditions of giving red envelopes, and eating a lot with family and friends, there is also the more modern practice of wearing red clothing.

In Chinese tradition, the color red represents happiness and, of course, good fortune. Why? Aside from being a highly brilliant and lively hue that is the same color as our life-giving blood, there is a tale behind it. 

The Legend Behind it

According to the legend, a monster would appear on Chinese New Year’s Eve. It would eat the inhabitants, the crops, and the cattle. The people were terrified, but they soon realized that this beast had a weakness: it was terrified of firelight, very loud sounds, and the color red. People would wear red on Chinese New Year’s Eve, plaster red spring couplets on their doorways, and play the drums. Most importantly, the loudest firecrackers are let off to frighten away the monster. That way, people could begin the Chinese New Year in peace and enjoyment, anticipating good fortune for the remainder of the year.

In addition, wearing the color red is typically thought to help fend off any hazards that may arise during the year. Red is one of the auspicious colors in Chinese culture, representing loyalty, success, and pleasure. During traditional Chinese festivities, notably Chinese New Year, you’ll notice a lot of red: red lanterns, red envelopes, and red paper hangings. When it comes to décor, nearly everything is red and gold-accented.

The Color Red and Birthday Celebrations

With all of the positive connotations associated with the color red in Chinese culture, it is no surprise that red is the favored color for birthdays. The color red is worn, and it’s also used in decorations, tablecloths, and even on birthday cakes. Furthermore, it is a lively hue that shouts joy and vitality.

When a Chinese family celebrates a birthday, whoever is younger than the celebrator wears red. Meanwhile, the birthday boy or girl can wear whatever they choose– as long as it’s colorful. In some households, the grandparents would gift ang pao (red envelopes filled with money) to the grandkids who wore red to the festivities.

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