On January 1, we watched the ball drop and cheered for the beginning of a new year, but there's another new beginning coming up: the Chinese New Year. The holiday, which is traditionally observed in Chinese and other Southeast Asian cultures, celebrates the Lunar New Year (whereas New Year's Eve follows the solar calendar). Per tradition, the Chinese New Year signals a shift in the zodiac symbol, and tomorrow — that's February 5 — we'll be closing out the year of the dog and welcoming the year of the pig.
A key component associated with the celebration of the Chinese New Year is the color red. Red lanterns are hung, red cutouts are used as decorations, and red envelopes filled with money are gifted among friends and family. The red-envelope tradition is called hóngbāo in Mandarin, and it's meant to bring good luck and keep evil spirits away.
For a modern approach on the ancient custom, you can send a red envelope emoji to your group chat. Or, you could bring yourself good luck by painting your nails with a splash of red. For even more good fortune, add in a bit of gold, which symbolizes wealth and prosperity (and we could all use a little bit of that in 2019).
If a red-and-gold manicure piques your creative interest, scroll through the slides ahead to find your curated guide to Chinese New Year nail art — a simple way to capture the spirit of the Lunar New Year traditions.