Every Chinese New Year, a plethora of products is coated in a sea of red. Just about everything from lanterns and calendars to envelopes are printed or painted in red, a colour that symbolises good fortune. Another product that also makes the annual red list is underwear. According to Chinese tradition, wearing red underwear during the first few weeks of the new lunar year is one way to ensure good fortune. And that is especially the case if the New Year happens to coincide with the zodiac animal under which you were born. 'If you were born in the Year of the Monkey, then you have to wear red underwear until the end of Spring Festival,' said Lily Zhang, a distribution manager for a magazine in Guangzhou. 'If you don't, you'll have bad luck for the rest of the year.' Local businesses are, naturally, attempting to cash in on this traditional taboo, as lingerie shops around Guangzhou promote a growing list of red briefs, bras and panties. Many of these garments are not just for wearing - some are fashionably flashy in order to satisfy people's fetishes. They include men's red briefs designed in the shape of animals such as oxen, bats and elephants. 'A lot of people especially like to buy red underwear as gifts when they go home to see their relatives,' said Zhou Wei, who runs a lingerie shop called Life, located in the World Trade Mall on Huanshi Road. 'It doesn't matter what animal you are, if you are Chinese, you usually buy red clothes.' During the past few weeks, red bras have been filling the racks at many lingerie shops in town and are going for between 70 and 100 yuan. Fashionable red briefs and boxers cost about 30 yuan, while women's red nighties are retailing for about 150 yuan. Most of these lingerie products are produced locally and do not even carry a brand name. 'People don't pay much attention to the brand because they care more about comfort,' said Ms Zhou. Whether it is for comfort or for show, Guangzhou's brandless briefs are certainly taking up space. Despite the cold and wet weather that usually accompanies Chinese New Year in this city, some lucky family members will at least be getting a few hot items to warm up those freezing nights.