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The Meaning Behind Painting Radishes for Chinese New Year

In the realm of Chinese art, certain objects are chosen not just for their visual appeal but for the auspicious meanings they carry.

One such example, shared by my art teacher, revolves around a still life setup designed specifically for Chinese New Year—an arrangement that holds profound significance within the Chinese community.

Chinese new year painting

A key element in this symbolic tableau is the RADISH, known as "菜头" in Hokkien dialect. Its pronunciation resembles "彩头", meaning 'good start', symbolizing the promise of a prosperous year ahead. This artful representation seamlessly blends aesthetics with cultural meaning.

Mandarin oranges, perennially associated with luck, play a vital role in the composition. Red packets, traditional monetary gifts exchanged during special occasions, hold dual significance—they not only symbolize prosperity but also serve as protective talismans, warding off malevolent forces and ensuring the safety of the younger generation.

The delightful addition of two charming goldfish on a greeting card brings further depth to the artistic narrative. In Chinese culture, goldfish are emblematic of abundance and harmony, contributing an extra layer of prosperity to the overall composition.

Consider incorporating these symbolic elements into your decor, not only for their aesthetic charm but also to usher in a year filled with auspicious beginnings and abundant blessings.

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