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Saturday January 18, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday January 18, 2014 MYT 11:37:08 AM
by choo woon lim
While pen-holders often feature miniature snowmen, manufacturers have gone creative and designed them around this year’s CNY theme. Both decorative and useful, these holders, with miniature horses inside the snowglobe, also make good and meaningful gifts for friends and family
THE horse is an important animal in Chinese culture, being a beast of burden used for work and travel in ancient times.
In Chinese astrology, the horse is seen as a popular, well-liked and positive entity.
This week, MOB brings you 10 horse-themed decorations to add cheer to homes this Chinese New Year.
Every year, souvenir shops cash in on the Chinese zodiac craze and sell cute stuffed toys of the themed animal of the year.
This year is no exception, as cuddly horse toys line the front displays of shops.
Nu Lycie, a shop selling decorative items in Petaling Street, is well stocked for the upcoming festival, with hundreds of toys for sale.
Horse figurines are all the rage this year
Supervisor Dexter See, 40, said some customers would buy a different animal toy each year to
complete a collection of 12 animal signs.
The word for ‘horse’ in Chinese is ma, and is a pictorial of the animal’s physical form.
Calligraphy master Tony Yong, who has been setting up his shop every Chinese New Year in Petaling Street for the past 12 years, said most people like horses in calligraphy because they represent strength and success.
Yong, who has a base of regular customers, said phrases such as Long Ma Jing Shen (which roughly translates to a strong, enthusiastic spirit) and Ma Dou Gong Xing
(horses arrive bringing success)
are auspicious and bring a good meaning.
Horses are a popular subject for Chinese brush paintings, especially ones featuring eight horses, dubbed the Ba Jun Tu or ‘Eight Galloping Horses’. Eight is an auspicious number as the pronunciation ba is similar to fa (fortune).
A painting retailer from Chinese Calligraphy in Sunway Pyramid shopping centre, who declined to be named, said the paintings were selling even better this year.
Often used to decorate walls,
doors and windows, Chinese paper-cutting is an art that is still popular today and is a favourite for many households during the festive season.
As they are used to decorate doors and windows, they are also known as chuang hua (window flower).
For DIY enthusiasts, templates are available online to download.
My Puzzle House in Sunway Pyramid sells jigsaw puzzles featuring horses, which can be a cheaper alternative to expensive paintings, but an equally nice addition to the household decor.
A good idea for affordable yet pretty decorations for the home are Chinese New Year cards from family and friends.
Prop them and display on top of shelves to add a touch of festive atmosphere.
Red packets with horses on them can also be strung together and hung up like wind chimes around the house.
Horse figurines are all the
rage this year, with many retailers stocking the decorative pieces.
At Pavilion Kuala Lumpur shopping centre, the public can donate for a good cause while “adopting” the 688 adorable horse figurines available, each measuring about two feet.
Proceeds from the sale will go towards charity.
Instead of the usual paintings or figurines, some retailers are going creative with their horse-themed decorations, by implementing horse designs on items such as mugs, so that customers can add cheer not only to the bedroom or living room, but also the kitchen.
Miniature lanterns, knots and lucky characters are a commonly seen theme in decorative tassels, often hung over doorways and windows.
This year, the usual fish and dragon figures are replaced by unique horse-figure tassels.
While pen-holders often feature miniature snowmen, manufacturers have gone creative and designed them around this year’s CNY
Both decorative and useful, these holders, with miniature horses inside the snowglobe, also make good and meaningful gifts for friends and family.
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