To celebrate Lunar New Year (Spring Festival), Chinese, Taiwanese, Singapore, and Malaysian homes are adorned with auspicious red Chinese New Year banners. In Chinese, banners are called 春联 / 春聯 (chūnlián) and have welcoming wishes for good health and prosperity written in beautiful calligraphy.
Learning about culture with Chinese banners
Although you can buy banners on Amazon, my sister generously created printable Chinese banners for our family! To be honest, when I first began to learn Chinese with my kids, I was reluctant to incorporate the culture.
Growing up in a small, non-diverse town, I never saw Chinese banners or other Lunar New Year decorations. Even now, in contrast to my sister who currently lives in a diverse city and has traveled to Asia several times, Chinese culture is relatively new to me.
I’m so grateful that my sister made these banners to encourage a little Chinese culture in our home. As always, we’re happy to share them with your children and students! 🙂
This is the 4th consecutive year that my kids and I have been decorating Chinese banners! During the first 2 years, the Chinese greetings were foreign and hard to pronounce. I initially printed them on colorful paper and used a different font – see Facebook and Instagram for the first time we shared them on social media in 2018.
Fast forward to now, both of my children have grown up quickly, and we can say, read, and understand most of these Chinese banners!
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How to decorate your home with Chinese New Year Banners
Hanging these Chinese banners around the house creates a print-rich environment for learning Chinese! Through reading various books with my kids and talking to my lovely blog readers, I’ve also learned that in Chinese culture, banners are hung in certain ways at home, schools, or businesses.
1. Vertical banners (couplets)
Traditionally, vertical Chinese banners are hung in pairs (couplets) around doors and windows to welcome new guests.
2. Diamond banners
Sometimes on doors, a diamond-shaped 福 Chinese character is hung upside down. Because Chinese traditions often play on words with similar pronunciation,倒 (dào) means “to invert” and also “to pour out.” Therefore, “你的福倒了” (nǐ de fú dàole) can represent that your 福 is upside down and your 福 is pouring out.
倒 also sounds like 到 (dào / arrive). In other words, it’s a wish for good fortune to arrive all over your place.
As for 春, some friends have seen this Chinese characters upside-down, while others have remarked that it’s less common.
Examples of decorating with Chinese couplets
In the image above, we decorated our DIY Cardboard Chinese market with these banners and other printable crafts from my website! Below are examples of how we hung Chinese red banners in our home!
However, reality with young children means that many banners are in random parts of our home – who can relate?!
Chinese American Family has more examples of how to decorate for Lunar New Year!
Common Chinese greetings on Lunar New Year banners
Here are popular Chinese New Year greetings included in our free printable banners!
Vertical Chinese banners
- 大吉大利 (Dàjí dàlì / Happy and prosperous) – Also part of the saying 大吉大利晚上吃鸡 (Dà jí dà lì wǎn shàng chī jī / Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!)
- 恭喜发财 / 恭喜發財 (Gōngxǐ fācái / May you have a prosperous New Year, or literally Congratulations and Make Money!)
- 年年有余 / 年年有餘 (Nián nián yǒu yú / Have overflowing abundance every year)
- 五福临门 / 五福臨門 (Wǔ fú lín mén / 5 blessings come upon your door)
- 身体健康 / 身體健康 (Shēntǐ jiànkāng / Wishing you great health)
- 心想事成 (Xīn xiǎng shì chéng / Best wishes)
- 花开富贵 / 花開富貴 (Huā kāi fùguì / May wealth bloom as flowers bloom)
- 吉祥如意 (Jíxiáng rúyì / Big fortune)
- 新年快乐 / 新年快樂 (Xīnnián kuàilè / Happy New Year!)
- 出入平安 (Chūrù píng’ān / Peace and safety wherever you go)
Diamond Chinese banner
- 福 (fú / happiness)
- 春 (chūn / spring)
Christian Chinese Banners
In our humble opinion, traditional greetings are too focused on luck and wealth, which we try to de-empathize from a general parenting standpoint! Since we are a Christian family, we have added blessings that reflect our beliefs. We became familiar with the following phrases through Stream of Praise worship songs!
Vertical Chinese banners with Christian blessings
- 耶稣爱你 / 耶穌愛你 (Yēsū ài nǐ / Jesus loves me)
- 爱在我家 / 愛在我家 (Ài zài wǒjiā / Love in my home)
- 十架之光 (Shí jià zhī guāng / Light of the Cross)
- 神真美好 (Shén zhēn měi hǎo / God is great)
- 常常喜乐 / 常常喜樂 (Cháng cháng xǐ lè / Always rejoice)
- 以马内利 / 以馬內利 (Yǐ mǎ nèi lì / Emanuel)
- 主赐平安 / 主賜平安 (Zhǔ cì píng’ān / Lord gives peace)
- 福杯满溢 / 福杯滿溢 (Fú bēi mǎn yì / May your cup overflow with blessings)
Diamond Chinese banner with Christian blessing:
- 恩 (Ēn / grace)
What you need to create Chinese red banners
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- Chinese New Year banner templates – see below
- Printer (we have this one)
- Red printer paper or cardstock paper
- Scissors and/or paper cutter
Chinese New Year banner templates
1. Banners in Simplified Chinese
- Chinese Banners – Simplified Chinese (Outline Font)
- Chinese Banners – Simplified Chinese (Solid Font)
2. Banners in Traditional Chinese
- Chinese Banners – Traditional Chinese (Outline Font)
- Chinese Banners – Traditional Chinese (Solid Font)
3. Christian Banners in Simplified Chinese
- Christian Banners – Simplified Chinese (Outline Font)
- Christian Banners – Simplified Chinese (Solid Font)
4. Christian Banners in Traditional Chinese
- Christian Banners – Traditional Chinese (Outline Font)
- Christian Banners – Traditional Chinese (Solid Font)
How to prepare Chinese banners for Lunar New Year
If you are very busy and don’t have much time:
- Print simplified or traditional Chinese banners with solid font
- Cut along dotted line
- Tape to walls and door with removable painter’s tape
If you have more time and want your child to learn the Chinese characters and fine motor skills:
- Print simplified or traditional Chinese banners with solid or outline font
- Cut along solid line or dotted line (depending on desired shape)
- Color each character with black or gold art supplies
- Tape to walls and door with removable painter’s tape
*TIP: If your child has trouble remembering Chinese characters, I recommend using solid fonts (instead of outline fonts) for more visual input.
Decorating our banners
In the next photo, my daughter is focused on tracing each Chinese character with a gold leaf pen following Chinese stroke order.
Below is a colorful version that we made in the past! A few years ago, I used SongTi font, which is more block-like. However, I have been gradually switching all of my printables to KaiTi font, the standard Chinese font so that the Chinese characters look more like calligraphy!
And here’s a gorgeous pair of banners that a mom sent to me! I love seeing how everyone’s kids’ decorate their banners!
Did you decorate your home or school with lucky red Chinese banners?
If you decorate your home, school, or office with our Chinese banners, we’d love to see how they look! Please let us know by:
- Commenting below.
- Tagging a photo #chalkacademy @chalkacademy on Instagram and Facebook, and/or
- Emailing a photo to [email protected]
More Lunar New Year resources for children
- 20+ Fun Chinese New Year Activities for Kids!
- Lucky Chinese Red Envelopes 红包 – Free Printable in Simplified and Traditional Chinese!
- Chinese Zodiac Wheel – Educational Chinese New Year Printable
- 恭喜发财 Chinese New Year Craft Stick Puzzle
- Free Happy New Year Coloring Pages
- Lunar New Year YouTube Videos in Mandarin Chinese