Chengdu Travel Diary | Jinli-07
Red lantern, the flashlight of the past, is now a favorite item used in decoration. In Jinli, almost every shop use it to decorates their shop one way or another. They look nice no matter how you use it.
The color red is a very good color for the Chinese. It bears the meaning of good fortune and joy. It is heavily used in all Chinese holidays especially during Chinese New Year celebration. During the celebration, everybody will wears red and uses red to decorate their houses, in fact, the whole city is in red during the Chinese New Year celebration. Since red is such a lucky color, why not use it all the time? Well, someone did think about that, and thought of the lantern.
The Chinese lantern is traditionally in red. This makes them a perfect way to add the color red to the shop without going overboard, such as painting the whole shop in red (that would look really scary, trust me). The lantern is also a traditional Chinese symbol, makes it a suitable decorative item for the already Chinese looking shop. The combination of the lucky color red and traditional Chinese symbol make red lantern the item of choice for decoration.
Some shops use red lantern as their business plaque and promotional board, just like this one in the photo. They would write their business name and promotional messages, usually with black ink, on the lantern. With how visually striking the red lantern is, I guess it works out pretty good for them.
The red lanterns makes the already magnificent Jinli street view even more grant!
The writing on the lantern contains a lot of information. If you read the language, you can gather a lot of information about the store. Using this store as example, the top layer lanterns have the Chinese symbol for tea written all over it, so we know this shop either serve tea or sell tea or both. The lower layer lanterns have poems written on them, with this, we can normally guess this store also sells items that are related to Chinese literature and culture.
Since red lantern is such a good choice as decorative items and everybody seems to agree, as a result, red lantern is being used all over Jinli. Every shop has them, every street has them, I swear there must be at least one red lantern per every square inch in Jinli. Is it over used? perhaps . . . Is it too much? No, I don’t think so, at least I still find them really cool to look at and I can’t seem to stop pointing my camera at every single one of them . . . stop . . . stop . . . why can’t I stop . . .
*Jinli is a popular tourist spot in Chengdu, Sichuan, China