If you are one of the tenacious few who have kept your new year’s resolutions, I commend you. For the rest of us, we have a second chance at a new beginning. On Friday, January 31st, comes the first day of the Chinese New Year.
In China, the New Year is not marked by the drop of the ball in Times Square at midnight. The Chinese use what is called a lunisolar calendar, meaning the days are based on both lunar and solar movements. The lunary cycle, or a month, is about 29.5 days.
Chinese New Year begins with the new moon on the first day of the New Year and concludes 15 days later, on the full moon. The final day is celebrated with lantern displays all night.
According to legend, a mystical beast called Nian would emerge on the first day of the New Year to terrorize villagers by eating everything in its sight, including children. It was later realized that Nian feared the color red, fire, and loud noises. Villagers also outsmarted Nian by preparing food for the beast ahead of time and leaving it outside their locked doors.
Today, the Chinese New Year is celebrated with an abundance of delicious and symbolic foods, firework and lantern shows, and opulent decorations in rich shades of red and gold. The Chinese also believe the new year is an ideal time to rid of the old and welcome the new, so many families can be found cleaning out their homes a few days prior.
If you want to give yourself a new beginning with a home makeover, you may find the colors of the Chinese New Year to be an inspiring, bold way to ring in the New Year. After all, it is the Year of the Horse, who is known to be unconstrained by rules, free, and a big risk taker.
For those who are looking to create a room that will capture anyone’s attention, you may want to reach for Hot Tin Roof, Combustion, North Pole, and Strong Punch, all from our 20th Century Colors of America palette. Whether these paints are paired with gold accents to heighten the pizzazz or balanced with neutral tones, (try Century Beige, Apollo White, Guilded White, or Sleeper’s Entry) you’ll dazzle your family and friends with a ruby room reminiscent of a magnificent celebration in Beijing.
If you love the idea of a room inspired by one of the oldest and most widely recognized cultural celebrations but can’t quite fit the flamboyance into your home, do not fret! Consider more muted colors such as Redrock Canyon, Stagecoach, Shaker Red, Richardson Brick, and Alden Till, all from our Historic Colors of America palette.
Perhaps you may favor colors such as Clementine, India Trade, Bronzed Plate, and Mystique, which are all evocative of the Chinese tradition of displaying and gifting platters of oranges and tangerines during New Year.
Whether you have stuck by your resolutions or not, Chinese New Year is a fun way to immerse yourself in a culture that may not be your own and incorporate new colors into your palette. Cheers to a new year, new beginnings, and new colors in your space!
For more information on the 20th Century Colors of America pallet, download our free color guide.