Apart from spring cleaning before Chinese New Year starts, another ritual is decorating the home appropriately to usher in the Spring Festival. Apart from livening up the home, these decorations hold auspicious meanings which invite good fortune into the home.
Although red lanterns are a mainstay during most prominent Chinese festivals and events like weddings, they are particularly popular during the Lunar New Year where they are hung in a pair outside the door of a home or shop.
Oval in shape with decorative gold fringe, hanging these lanterns in front of a door is believed to symbolise happiness, invite good fortune and drive away bad luck.
Hokkiens may additionally hang lanterns in the shape of a pineapple because in the dialect, pineapple is "ong lai", which means "welcome fortune".