Chinese New Year Lantern Colors

Make Your Wish Come True by Picking the Right Lantern

Lanterns show for the Chinese Lantern Festival on February 6 and traditionally marks the end of the Lunar New Year
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Chinese New Years' 15-day holiday culminates with the Lantern Festival (元宵节, yuan xiao jie), marking the end of celebrations with a party under the full moon. It is a glowing spectacle of lanterns, cacophonous firecrackers, and mouthwatering food. Lanterns are hung outside homes and children carry small lanterns

While modern lanterns come in all shapes and sizes – like paper, bamboo, and metal shaped like spheres, diamonds, animals and cartoon characters – symbolic colors help Chinese New Year revelers’ wishes come true.

Lantern Colors and Their Meanings

During Chinese New Years, you may see lanterns of varying colors and sizes are for sale. Revelers will choose the color that expresses their wishes and then write their corresponding wishes on the lantern.

The most popular lantern color is red. The color red is supposed to welcome good fortune. If you are single and on the lookout for that someone special, pick a pink lantern as pink represents romance. A peach-red color signifies having opportunities and making good decisions. This could be a good color to choose if you are making a career move or are an entrepreneur. 

For someone looking to improve their financial situation or to win it big in the lottery, an orange lantern might bring you luck as orange represents money. The color yellow is said to bring success in school. Therefore, students might want to pick a yellow lantern for Chinese New Years. White signifies god health, which is integral for any individual's well-being.

If you are looking for a change of pace in life, a light green lantern represents of growth--be it personal or professional.If you have certain wishes that you want to come true in the new year, choose a light blue lantern. Light blue signifies hoping something will come true. For the dreamers, a light purple lantern might be the most suitable as light purple mean idealism.

Lantern Activities

Now that you have the right colored lantern or lanterns, here is what you do with them on the last day of Chinese New Years. A big event during the Lantern Festival is lighting the lantern. In some cases, there is an artificial light inside the lantern that can be switched on. In other instances, like at Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan, lanterns are lit like small hot air balloons and are released into the night sky. 

Another fun activity is solving lantern riddles. Riddles on slips of paper will be posted on a lantern. When an individual believes that he or she has solved the riddle, they can take the paper slip and bring it to the lantern owner or whoever is running the lantern riddle event. If they have answered the riddle correctly, a small prize is awarded.