Header image courtesy of StockByM (via iStock)
Chinese New Year (CNY) is well on its merry way and the city is getting primped and preened to usher in an ox-spicious year ahead. Apart from the mandatory spring cleaning and reorganising, decorating is an unmissable tradition in nearly every household (and arguably the most exciting activity among all the CNY preparations).
While Covid-19 safety precautions have us taking most of the celebrations indoors this year, it’s all the more reason to adorn our homes with lively shades of red and gold. That said, if you’re looking to update your décor and really kick the festive spirit into high gear, here is where to find the most unique artisanal Chinese New Year decorations in Hong Kong.
Believed to be a harbinger of good luck and prosperity, glowing red lanterns are ubiquitous around Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival, but ones that are crafted from scratch the old-school way using bamboo are far and few between. Manned by second-generation papercraft artisan Au-yeung Ping-chi, Bo Wah Paper Craft has been a permanent fixture in the local craft scene for nearly 60 years, attracting loyal, longstanding customers with its intricately made paper lanterns. You can take your pick from traditional oval and vase-shaped lanterns, or more creative varieties in the shape of animals (an ox would be fitting for the occasion) and even your favourite cartoon character!
Bo Wah Paper Craft, 2D Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 2776 9171
Boisterous, colourful, and extravagant, there is no doubt that the lion dance is one of the most iconic traditions performed during Chinese New Year. Whether or not you’re involved in staging a lion dance performance, if you want to really deck up and bask in the festive spirit with a visually striking display, a traditional zhizha (紙紮; Chinese papercraft) lion head will surely do the trick.
Running a humble shop in Hung Hom, Master Yu of Ho Gei Zak Jok (豪記扎作) makes stunning lion heads with attention-grabbing detail every Chinese New Year. Sticking to time-honoured techniques and dedicating days to produce a single craft, Master Yu’s elaborate lion heads are truly artistic masterpieces that evoke the meticulous craftsmanship of a bygone era. Click here to read more about Master Yu’s journey as a papercraft artisan.
Hou Gei Zaat Zok (豪記扎作), 6A & 6B Cooke Street, Hung Hom | (+852) 2364 4732
Known for its intricate design and alluringly symmetrical patterns, Chinese decorative knotting is a folk art that’s steeped in history, dating back to the Tang and Song dynasty. While it’s not an entirely uncommon hobby among the crafty crowd, very few brick-and-motor shops in the city specialise in the dexterous tradition.
For a taste of this ancient handicraft at its finest, stop by Knotting Home in Kowloon Bay and get your hands on various lucky red tassels, animal knot ornaments, and knotted Chinese character displays. Everything here is expertly handcrafted by a local knot artist Mama Yueng, who pours her 40 years of experience and skill into every piece of work. Hang these exquisite knots on doors or in your living room this Chinese New Year as a good omen for the new year!
Knotting Home, Shop S114, 2/F, Phase 1, Amoy Plaza, 77 Ngau Tau Kok Road, Kowloon Bay | (+852) 6239 8766
When it comes down to it, CNY decorating is about making your space feel welcoming for the all-important bai neen (拜年; sending new year blessings) visits and family reunions—and what gives off a more homely and inviting appeal than earthy, wooden accents?
Founded by five THEi design students, Dosha Woodcraft fashions all sorts of houseware and décor products out of salvaged wood scraps. This season, they have rolled out a special Lunar New Year collection to help you add a touch stylish charm and festivity to your abode. Summon good luck with the beautiful wood-carved “fuk” (福; good fortune) display ($120) or store your red pocket money in the adorable ox piggy bank ($388), which doubles as a stunning table centrepiece!
Dosha Woodcraft, Kiosk B10, The Lohas Collect Zone B, 3/F, The Lohas Mall, Lohas Park
Head to this charming pop-up market in Kwun Tong from 6 to 11 February to find stalls upon stalls of local vendors displaying seasonal gifts, packaged foodstuff, and of course, handcrafted Chinese New Year decorations. Love the look of kumquat trees but hate having to throw them out after 15-day celebration? Perhaps a mini hand-felted version by @felicitypig.handmade would be the perfect décor piece for you! Alternatively, if the beauty of handwritten Chinese calligraphy scrolls captivates you but you don’t have the skill to take matters into your own hands, then don’t miss out on the adorable ox-themed red banners painted by award-winning calligrapher Sam Chan.
Hub.hub Market, 1/F, 133 Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong
Dedicated to all things made by local creative artisans, this pop-up craft fair is a haven for those looking for decorative knick-knacks to spruce up their home this season. From 5 to 11 February, Life Mart is playing host to around 100 local brands and showcasing a smorgasbord of handmade and hand-designed goodies at The Pulse in Repulse Bay.
From Chinese-style macrame wall hangings by fibre artist Cho Chan to hand-painted door couplets and banners by various local calligraphers and illustrators—including @humchuk, @dark.calligrapher, and @kuric.words—there is bound to be something to meet everyone’s festive decorating needs!
Life Mart, L3, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay
D2 Place is going all out this Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Ox with a 10-day festive market simultaneously held in four different locations in the shopping centre. From 6 to 11 February, pop over to the stylish cultural hub in Lai Chi Kok for personalised lucky red banners handwritten on-the-spot, embroidery ornaments, festive floral arrangements, and other handmade treasures!
They are adhering to strict crowd control measures this year, so make sure you pre-book your admission ticket online to skip the long wait times to access the market.
White Market, D2 Place, 9 Cheung Yee Street, Lai Chi Kok