New Clothes to Welcome the Lunar New Year
One of the best parts of the Lunar or Chinese New Year celebrations is shopping for new clothes, and getting little ones excited about what to put on is what Haru Hana is all about! We're having a Lunar New Year Sale with a special CNY collection, so don't forget to check it out. There's free shipping if you purchase over $50.
Haru Hana welcomes the Year of the Water Tiger
2022 heralds the start of the Year of the Water Tiger. The Lunar New Year is the biggest celebration in China and for the Asians in other parts of the world.
Learning about Lunar New Year
Tiger Tiger Burning Bright…2022 is when Asians around the world welcome this magnificent, auspicious animal to lead the new year! Even as we have just welcomed the New Year on 1st January 2022, here is another opportunity for more celebrations, feasting and a new start! That is the beautiful thing about being in a world of different cultures - we get to experience each other's new beginnings and festivities.
The Legend of Nian
For older children, some families share the story of the legend of Nian to explain the significance of the Lunar New Year celebrations.
In ancient times, Nian was a terrifying beast that prowled the villages attacking people and eating children. The villagers discovered that the beast had a weak point - it was afraid of loud noises, bright lights, and the colour red repelled it. So when the beast came round, the villagers would set off firecrackers and fireworks to frighten the beast away. They placed red lanterns and red decorations on their houses to repel the beast and some put food outside their doors to distract the beast. The villagers won and this tradition has continued to our present times.
Fortunately, we have no terrifying beast to chase away and now we can enjoy the festivities in peace!
A Working Life
A more practical explanation of the origins of the Chinese New Year celebration is related to the life of farmers and workers. It was a time they could have a rest from a year's hard labour. It gave them a period to recharge and be refreshed with new energy for the year ahead. This is probably a lot more relatable for our present day, where some are toiling in the fields and others are also toiling away in offices. A much needed break is most welcome.
Most importantly, Chinese New Year is the most important time of the year for generations of families to reunite and be together. In our modern times, and especially with globalisation and mass movements to all parts of the world for studies or work, Chinese New Year acts as a magnet to bring everyone back together to celebrate.
Some may find the dates of the Chinese New Year baffling as it seems to fall on a different date every year. The Chinese New Year is determined by the Chinese Lunar calendar, not the commonly known international Gregorian calendar.
The Chinese Lunar calendar is around 21-51 days behind the Gregorian one. The Chinese New Year traditionally lasts 16 days. In 2022, it would be from January 31st all the way to February 15th. Before you start to feel envious about how long the celebrations are, the official bank holidays are really only 7 days, depending on each individual country.
The Chinese Reunion Dinner is the biggest event during this festive period. The entire family would come around the table for a sumptuous meal of many dishes that are symbolic of good fortune. Other typical activities include cleaning and preparing the house before the festivities begin, wearing new clothes and visiting family and relatives, exchanging mandarin oranges and little red envelopes, and setting off firecrackers and fireworks.
Haru Hana has launched new range of tights and socks sets for babies and children. Check this one out.
Year of the Tiger 2022
There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, and they take turns to lead each year. 2022 will see the auspicious Tiger leading the pack! The Tiger is known as the king of all beasts. If you look at the forehead of the tiger, it has the Chinese character “王" on it, which means ´king´. It may take a bit of imagination to spot the character, but maybe the stripes help! Not surprising then that the Tiger is held as a symbol of bravery and power. It is believed that the Tiger drives away evil spirits as well.
What are Tigers like?
So what are the characteristics of people born in the Year of the Tiger? If you have a Tiger baby joining the family, it would be interesting to see if they show these characteristics!
They say Tiger babies are optimistic and enthusiastic and have boundless energy. They have a powerful vitality and draw people to them. Lively and cheerful, they also love freedom and guard their personal space. They are also very much fighters of justice, and are the ones to stand up for others. Like their animal symbolism, tiger people are courageous and authoritative but they also have a charming side which they reveal to family and close friends. The Tigers in your family are likely to be adventurers and pioneers who are not afraid to stride out in pursuit of ambition. They make natural leaders and have a strong sense of responsibility. Let us know if you spot some of these characteristics!
Let's Go Shopping!
If you like shopping, then there is one tradition in this festival that you will be sure to love. It is typical to shop for new clothes for the Chinese New Year. So for those who love fashion and renewing your wardrobe, this is definitely one festival you do not want to miss! For families with children, this is an exciting time to dress up their little ones!
But why this need for new clothes? It is believed that wearing new clothes symbolised a new start and fresh hopes for the new year. Before you get carried away and start shopping for anything you like, there are a few things to bear in mind when it comes to dressing up for Chinese New Year.
Seeing Red is Good!
Colours are really important here, and red is the dominant colour (remember the story of Nian the terrifying beast?). Brightly-coloured clothes are the in thing to wear as these happy colours are believed to bring in good fortune and scare away bad spirits.
You cannot go wrong with clothes that are red, yellow or green. Each has its unique symbolism.
Red signifies a whole host of happy things - happiness, good fortune, success, beauty, vitality. That is why you see red lanterns and red scrolls as decorations, and when people exchange little envelopes containing money for good luck, those envelopes are red too.
Yellow is Mother Nature's colour and it also symbolises royalty and was once reserved only for the emperor. The emperor was clad in luxurious yellow robes, lived in imperial palaces with yellow glazed tiles, rode in yellow royal carriages and even their official flags were yellow.
As for green, if that is your favourite colour then you are in luck for Chinese New Year. It symbolises wealth, regeneration, fertility, hope, growth, harmony and purity.
As the Spring Festival is a time to welcome change and new beginnings, it makes sense to remove the old and make way for the new. New clothes are thought to be auspicious and protect the wearer from evil spirits. If you think about the farmers we mentioned earlier who were taking this time to rest and recharge, in an agrarian society, harvests took place once or twice a year and people had to be very careful about resources, so saving and hoarding was a wise and practical thing to do. Lunar New Year is a time for everyone to give themselves a treat, and new clothes were a highly practical treat to allow themselves once a year.
Fun Clothes for Little Ones
New clothes are typically given as gifts and people wear them on the first day of the Lunar New Year.
When there are children in the family, shopping for new clothes for them is great fun. At Haru Hana, children's fashion is something joyful, playful and always comfortable and we are excited about picking out clothes that families would enjoy dressing up their children in.
With red being the absolute colour to wear, one of our top favourites is our Red Checkered Lace Blouse from Liketoo Korea. It is cute, homey and the lace on the neckline, cuff and hem gives it an elegant touch. Your little one is not going to want to take this off at the end of the day as it is comfy and soft as well!
Something children really look forward to during Lunar New Year is to be given little red envelopes. These usually contain a bit of money for good luck and the envelopes are pretty and you can find a myriad of beautiful designs. Children may not be fully aware of the significance of the money and it is not the quantity that counts, but collecting things is always a hit with children! It is lovely for a child to have their own little sling bag to keep these envelopes as they go visiting from house to house. Children love feeling a sense of responsibility and independence and Haru Hana's ladybug bag is a cute accessory to go with their new clothes. It is red, so it is perfect! And who does not like a cute happy little ladybug? We would be carrying one too if there were an adult version of this!
Another one of our favourites is this Candy Market Korea Dinosaur T and Pants set! It is bright and cheerful, and has the lucky colours red and green to bring in good fortune. Dinosaurs are great fun to wear, and it is a pity it is not one of the animals on any zodiac we know of! Babies would be eager to be born in the Year of the Dinosaur if so! We love the little spikes on the sides of the pants - children's clothes should be fun as well and bring out the natural playfulness of a child. It is made from soft and breathable cotton fabric, so the child is kept comfortable the whole day.
Arim Closet Korea's classic flower dress cannot go wrong on any occasion. Its dainty blue, red and pink floral pattern gives it a cosy feel and it is reminiscent of spring, which is what the Lunar New Year is celebrating. The ruffled collar and navy blue ribbon at the back gives the little dress a charming feel. It is made from pure cotton and lined with soft cotton to keep your little ones cool.
We love adding finishing touches to an outfit, and these cute Petit Ribbon hair snap clips are easy to match with any outfit. Choose the lucky colours your child likes and you are ready with new clothes to start the Lunar New Year celebrations!
At Haru Hana, shopping for children for Lunar New Year is a delight and a fun little adventure with the little ones. We are eager to celebrate the Lunar New Year and welcome spring with its promise of hope and new beginnings. Children often bring back the magic and joy in festivities which as adults we may have outgrown and even feel jaded about. Listen to your little ones, and let the little child in you free to be a part of their sparkle during the festivities!
May the Year of the Tiger bring you and your loved ones strength, excellent health and courage to fully experience 2022!
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