Happy Chinese New Year!
There’s nothing like a New Year to give rise to that stomach-churning mix of emotions in anticipation for the year ahead.
For some, that first blank page in their diary is an exciting opportunity to start afresh and get motivated. For others, the uncertainty of what’s in store over the next 365 days (or 366 in 2020, hello leap year!) is positively anxiety-inducing. But no matter which camp you find yourself in, one thing’s for certain: We could all do with some good fortune in 2020!
Good tidings we bring
Cultures across the globe have long placed great significance on New Year and its celebrations. Not only does it inspire reflection on the year before, but it also prompts us to look forward and predict how the year is going to play out. And a crucial part of the countless New Year’s rituals across the world is ensuring good luck for the next 12 months.
From eating 12 grapes at midnight in Spain, to throwing broken dishes at your neighbour’s house in Denmark, to dressing up as a bear in Romania, people around the world go to great lengths to inspire good fortune, practising weird and wonderful New Year’s traditions thought to secure health, happiness and wealth.
And who can blame them!? It certainly sounds a lot more fun than spending January slogging away (and spectacularly failing) at your New Year’s resolutions for another year...
Chinese New Year and its Lucky Colours
But it's the Chinese New Year celebrations that hold perhaps our favourite New Year’s rituals and traditions of all time.
Here at MYWALIT, we love all things colourful. We love diving into the meanings of different colours, we love taking colour inspiration from the landscape around us, and we love looking into the links between colour and personality. So, it doesn’t take much to convince us that rocking certain shades will usher in good fortune in 2020.
Chinese New Year, which falls on January 25th this year, celebrates the beginning of the new year on the Chinese calendar. Also referred to as the Lunar New Year, the celebration marks the new moon that occurs between January 21st and February 20th.
Indeed, each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac. According to tradition, each one of the 12 animals has its own lucky traits and, crucially, its own lucky colours.
This Saturday, January 25th kicks off the Year of the Rat. But what does this mean? And what does it mean for the colours will we be sporting in 2020?
The Year of the Rat
If you were born in 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972 or 1960, then according to Chinese astrology, your zodiac sign is the Rat. (It’s important for those born in January or February to double-check their sign, as the start of Chinese New Year varies by year.)
Rats are considered to be “clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.” They are seen to be independent and imaginative.
The Rat is also often seen as a sign of wealth and surplus in Chinese culture, perhaps giving a hint towards what 2020’s Year of the Rat may bring.
Along with their lucky numbers (2 and 3) and flowers (lily, African violet, valley lily), Rats are also are said to have three lucky colours: blue, gold, green.
If this is your year, why not show it off your Rat pride by bringing some colourful accessories into your New Year wardrobe?
The Year of the Rat: Colours of the Year
But there are also two colours that specifically mark 2020’s Year of the Rat: white and blue.
According to TheChineseZodiac.org, this is because the Rat, the first zodiac sign, ”has as a main agent the Water element, represented by the blue color.” What’s more, “the Rat is yang and represents the beginning of a new day,” hence the association with white.
In the tradition of feng shui, you should seek to surround yourself with the colours white and blue if you are to attract luck, prosperity, and health. This not only applies to your #outfitoftheday, but your home decor and design, too.
How to Get Lucky: Using This Year’s Colours
So what’s the best way to incorporate the Year of the Rat’s lucky colours into your life?
On the MYWALIT blog, we’ve already looked at how to rock blue, one of the coolest colours around. Whether it’s a dramatic, ice-blue eyeshadow, a double-denim look or a classic blue leather tote, the colour blue is perfect for adding a pop of colour into your wardrobe.
What’s more, for a quick and easy home transformation, try painting a blue feature wall in your bedroom or workspace to bring a touch of tranquility to your decorating scheme. Not handy with a paintbrush? Take the plunge with turquoise-blue bedding to create a similar effect.
But what about white? While some may argue it isn’t really a colour, we say there are plenty of ways to make the most of this crisp, clean shade. Nothing says put-together like a classic bright-white shirt paired with a leather work bag, while a white cotton dress should be a staple in every summer wardrobe this year.
In the home, minimalism is the trend du jour, but think simplistic rather than sterile. Use white on ceilings and walls to reflect light and create the illusion of more space. With regards to furniture, combine white with different textures, like woods and metals, to bring some drama to this traditionally no-fuss shade.
Don’t forget to let us know how you plan to celebrate Chinese New Year! How will you be rocking the Year of the Rat’s lucky shades? Tell us in the comments below!