Chinese New Year: Embracing Eastern influences

Chinese New Year: Embracing Eastern influences

Going back over thousands of years, Chinese New Year is an auspicious occasion that symbolises renewal, reunion, and the enduring spirit of familial bonds. As national holiday in China and many other Asian countries, this day is dedicated to family and to honouring ancient traditions. Discover how this special time marks a happy occasion for Chinese people all over the world.  

Deciphering Chinese New Year Rituals 

In February, the lunar calendar determines the arrival of the Chinese New Year. At the heart of Chinese New Year lies a profound reverence for tradition. This time calls for family gatherings, sometimes after long hours of travel, to wish each other good health and abundance. These two key values are held up high at this special time of the year.  

Preparations for Chinese New Year are a serious affair. Before the festivities may begin, families meticulously clean their homes. Like in many other cultures, the act of sweeping symbolises the releasing of the previous year's troubles and making way for new beginnings.  

Red is the master colour for this important time of the year as it symbolises luck and prosperity.  In China and Chinese neighbourhoods all over the world, decorations adorn doorways and streets, infusing every corner with a festive atmosphere. One must also wear a red garment to mark the turn of the year.  


Celebrations reach their highest point at the family reunion dinner. All generations gather around an array of dishes featuring traditional delicacies, each one carrying its own significance. Steamed fish symbolises abundance, while dumplings stand for wealth. Every bite relives a story steeped in tradition and meaning. 

Late into the night, streets fill up with firecrackers and lion dances to drive away evil spirits and usher in good fortune. Like many celebrations around the world, fireworks erupt at midnight, casting away negativity and heralding in new hope. Well wishes like "Xin Nian Kuai Le" (Happy New Year) resound amongst the crowds brimming with optimism and joy. 

Ancient Values for Today’s World 

Beyond the revelry and scrumptious meals, Chinese New Year is a time for introspection and gratitude, a moment to honour ancestors and cherish familial ties. It is an important moment for all ages and serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of tradition to connect generations.  

Red envelopes, known as "hongbao," exchange hands, containing blessings, money and well-wishes for the year ahead. Traditionally, only the younger members of the family receive this generous gift. Grandparents, parents and older siblings are expected to prepare an envelope for each sibling, child or grandchild. The spirit of generosity and goodwill permeates every interaction.  

For many Chinese abroad, this time of the year reinforces a sense of belonging, community and kinship. 

Imperial Jade's collection is designed in reverence to Chinese traditions 

“Gold has a price, jade is priceless.”   
Chinese proverb 

Just like Chinese New Year’s symbolism of prosperity, jade carries many key virtues. The ancestral stone stands as a symbol for wealth and power. Dormeuil fabrics have always carried inspiration from Dominic Dormeuil’s travels and exploration. This particular collection pays homage to the ancestral wealth of Chinese culture. If red is an auspicious colour for Chinese New Year, jade’s shades of green evoke many virtues like luck, wisdom and long standing friendships.   

In this spirit, our Imperial Jade collection draws inspiration from Wong Kar Wai’s film “In the Mood for Love”. Our textiles emulate the film’s lavish yet measured elegance of the fifties. In tune with the sometimes mysterious notes of the story, we’ve opted for dark colours with shot effects in the fabric to create a refined cloth. 

Several years of development were required by Dormeuil in its English factories to create this one-of-a-kind fabric blending wool and jade stones. We’ve specifically chosen the ultra-fine quality merino wool to create an elegant and sustainable fabric to complement the collection’s incomparable Jade dust finish. In terms of style, simple shapes, a double-breasted jacket or a blazer, and other classic cuts strike an elegant balance between subdued shades, fine finishing and details that catch the eye.  

Whether auspicious red or deep and  mysterious jade, Chinese culture has a lot to teach us both in terms of lifestyle and dress style. Perhaps we can draw inspiration from Chinese New Year’s timeless values: unity, resilience, and hope, serving as a beacon of light in sometimes dark times. Let us carry forth the spirit of this special holiday by honouring the past while embracing the promise of the future.