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Chinese New Year – Lavish Splendor of Costume Design

Updated on February 14, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

I enjoy writing about personal experiences with my family. I am also interested in traveling, other cultures, my ancestry and many animals.

Chinese New Year Overview

Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration among the Chinese people and they celebrate it to the fullest with the dragon as their symbol. It is frequently referred to as the spring festival because it signals the beginning of spring.

The Chinese New Year celebration begins on February 14, 2010, and will last for five days and in some parts of the world it lasts 15 days. This is the Year of the Tiger.

The Chinese have always used a lunar calendar with each month beginning on the darkest day, thus the celebration is not on the same date each year. No one really knows how many eons the Chinese New Year has been celebrated.

This holiday is a time to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new. Chinese people start their new year with putting behind them all things of the past. They clean their houses, pay off debts, purchase new clothes, paint their doors and window panes, and even get new haircuts. New beginnings in life, even symbolically, are sometimes very healthy choices. They spend days before the event cooking food and preparing decorations.

Chinese Parade Float

Gorgeous Parade Float In San Francisco
Gorgeous Parade Float In San Francisco

Chinese New Year Parade

Women's Dresses in Celebration

Gorgeous ladies marching in parade.
Gorgeous ladies marching in parade.

Common Tradition in the Celebration.

Whether in China, or in Chinese populated area of the United States, we see the New Year celebrations. Many Chinese-American associations host banquets. There are many unique traditions to the Chinese New Year Celebration in addition to those I listed above

  • One important tradition is the exchange of gifts. Traditionally a gift is in a small red envelope filled with “lucky money” for the children. Red is the color used to bring good fortune.
  • The dragon is another popular symbol for Chinese New Year
  • Food is also very important with families joining together for large feasts and food is placed on alters and to make offerings to the God’s. At the midnight feast ancestors are honored as well.
  • At midnight the festival begins with brilliant firework displays, as no Chinese New Year celebration would be complete without them,
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of appearance in the Chinese New Year celebrations. In Chinese tradition, elegant clothing is chosen to reflect the elegance of the lines of the human

Chinese Child Dressed for Celebration

Chinese New Year Beautiful Clothing

I am most intrigued by the beautiful costumes. Bright reds, pinks and gold are predominate in everyone’s dress. The costumes are very detailed and expertly designed typically using brocade silk. In China the manner of dress signifies the person’s social status.

The origin of the Chinese dress can be traced back to ancient designs. It may be a two piece outfits, along with a robe and sash, plus an outer jacket as well.

The woman's designs range from cheongsams, qupaos, mandarin blouses to jackets and pants. For men, Mandarin shirts with Mandarin collars, Dragon shirts, Kung Fu suits and Chinese coats are popular.

Chinese Man in Traditional Attire

Dress for Men and Women

As you can see by the man on the right marching in the parade, the mens costumes are very ornate, certainly comparing favorably to the women's costumes.

Embroidery on the beautiful fabrics is typical for both men and women. Chinese dress can be supplemented with accessories such as a fan, or jewelry of gold or silver. Often the designs on the New Year Dress are good luck signs or mythological scenes.

Jewelry is often made using precious stones and feathers which all together accentuate the beauty of the New Year dress. For men, belt hook and plaques are popular. For women, hair decorations with pins and combs were essential for their appearance.

Adorable Children in Full Dress

Children are dressed according to tradition.
Children are dressed according to tradition.

Dragon Costume

Another design is the Dragon costume always seen in the parades as its worn in the famous Dragon dance which is the highlight of the Chinese New Year Parade. The dragon is important in Chinese mythology and considered a symbol of good and desirable qualities.

Dragons were originally known as ths spirit of the river and were believed to be in all forms of water. The original purpose of the Dragon Dance was to heal sickness but gradually it became a celebration of folklore. The Dragon and those in the dance carry it proudly with its lavish colors and fabrics.

I have found the clothing to be a most fascinating topic of the Chinese New Year Celebration.

Dragon Dance at Parade

Dragon Dance
Dragon Dance


Submit a Comment

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

    Thank you for your comment.

  • Roberta99 profile image

    Roberta99 8 years ago

    The clothes are so beautiful and colorful. Quite a spectacular show.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

    Skyfire, Thank you for your compliment for my hub.

  • skyfire profile image

    skyfire 8 years ago

    Watching Parade at least once in lifetime is good experience in my opinion, and interesting thing is that they have Valentine's Day and new year on same day this year. Nice hub by the way.

  • Sage Williams profile image

    Sage Williams 8 years ago

    Beautiful and interesting hub, love your pictures.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

    Hello, Yes, I would love to see one of the parades. Thank you for your comment

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

    To witness that must be a real experience.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

    Thanks Carolina muscle, I appreciate your comment.

  • carolina muscle profile image

    carolina muscle 8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    This is certainly an interesting hub!!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

    Chuck and dohn, Thank you so much for your comments.

  • dohn121 profile image

    dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

    I really like how you place much emphasis on the clothing, Pamela. The words "ornate" and "colorful" first come to mind. It certainly is very important to the Chinese as it is the highlight of every year. Thanks for sharing this well researched and joyous hub!

  • Chuck profile image

    Chuck Nugent 8 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

    Excellent Hub. I never thought that clothing was so important in this celebration. Thanks for the good work and great pictures.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

    Princessa, That's exactly it! Thank you for your comment.

  • Princessa profile image

    Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

    Beautiful clothing, I like the rich materials and vivid colours they shout "celebration".

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

    Carrie, Thank you so much for your comment.

  • Carrie DeSha profile image

    Carrie DeSha 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA


  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

    Jack, I decided to do this because of your encouragement and I enjoyed my topic. Thanks for the comment.

  • TnFlash profile image

    TnFlash 8 years ago from Tampa, Florida

    Pam, This is a great Hub! it's well thought out and organized. I'm glad you see you got a post in the HubMob. Congratulations!